Hands green World - https://www.salesforce.com/products/energy-utilities-cloud/overviewSalesforce has extended its Energy & Utilities Cloud with a Clean Energy Program Management. Targeting utility companies such as gas, water and electricity, the new functionality helps them to launch and manage green programs. These programs can include energy efficiency, conservation, electrification and EV charging programs. The new platform also helps increase consumer awareness and participation in these new initiatives.

Green energy is one of the critical components of meeting the carbon reduction targets set by the Paris Agreement. In the US, 55% of Americans believe that energy companies are not doing enough to address climate change. As fuel costs increase, 75% of Americans are concerned about their ability to pay their bills. However, many are aware of the money available in funding, tax credits, and rebates. These are often through utility companies to help them save money yet still fight climate change.

In the UK, the rising costs of energy are causing distress. The Office of National Statistics recently reported that 41% of adults who pay energy bills are finding it difficult to afford them. In September, the UK Government vowed to take forward a pragmatic, proportionate and realistic path to reach net zero by 2050. Many of the measures deferred the phasing out of fossil fuel usage. But it included increasing the Boiler Upgrade Grant by 50% to £7,500.

There are new features within the Energy & Utilities Cloud powered by Salesforce Customer 360. The Salesforce Data Cloud and the Einstein 1 Platform will help organisations drive efficiency and deliver personalised experiences to customers.

Clean Energy Program Management

As utility companies look to introduce new initiatives, the Clean Energy Program Management help them to set up, promote, monitor and engage with customers. It assists them in engaging with both consumers and contractors. It helps employees improve the efficiency of and enrolment or new programs. Such as smart metering, Rooftop Solar, Electrification, EV Charging, Net Zero goals, and energy efficiency programs.

Clean Energy Program Management Dashboard
Clean Energy Program Management Dashboard
Kelly James, GM and SVP of Energy & Utilities, Salesforce: Image Credit - LinkedIn
Kelly James, GM and SVP of Energy & Utilities, Salesforce

Kelly James, GM and SVP of Energy & Utilities, Salesforce, commented, “The energy and utilities sector has a once in-a-lifetime opportunity to guide their customers toward a clean and sustainable future. With Clean Energy Program Management on Salesforce’s trusted AI, data, and CRM platform, energy and utility companies can create strong and lasting partnerships with their customers and communities, helping us all get to net zero faster.”

Program Management Console

Utility staff can leverage the Program management console. This presents data from multiple sources to give a clear picture of what is happening. Einstein provides further insights on the dashboard.  Users can quickly set up and monitor residential, commercial, and industrial programs. They can set targets against each program for metrics such as the number of applications submitted, budget spent, energy savings and other target metrics. The dashboard can display the progress against each metric, rapidly enabling assessment against each metric. Where initiatives are targeted geographically, adoption can be seen on maps displaying the locations of consumers or businesses adopting the relevant program.

Users can also promote community programs. These could include public EV Charging stations. Also surfacing the information on the relevant consumer portal as they are rolled out. They can ensure that everyone involved in these initiatives is fully aware of progress.

When new initiatives are planned, the combination of Einstein and the data could help employees identify which consumers are able to benefit most. Therefore create personalised outreach initiatives to drive adoption.

Customer Self-Service Portal

Customers gain access to a personalised portal where they can learn about bills, payments and rebates available. It will update them about current issues that might affect them. Leveraging Einstein AI to surface any relevant pieces of information without overwhelming them with irrelevant data.

The platform delivers practical help and informing them about current usage. Giving them help as they move property and apply for relevant programs from the portal. They can see qualified offers of new equipment such as EV chargers, Thermostats or heat pumps. Which will display the kind of savings in terms of CO2 emissions and cash they might enjoy by purchasing them. Once something is purchased the portal surfaces the different rebates available and assists the consumer through the process.

Furthermore, each rebate has a guided form that helps the consumer enter the relevant information. Using connections to external data sources to help provide some of the information through the process. For example, once a manufacturer and product number are entered the system populates the technical details often required to fulfil the requirements of the rebate. This simplifies the process and also removes the risk of manual errors from the process. The system surfaces an estimated rebate amount before the consumer submits the request.

Once submitted, staff at the utility can quickly process the rebate, with the platform identifying any data anomalies or missing data. They can check the receipt matches the details of what is submitted.

Contractor Portal

Energy companies often partner with other organisations to deliver green initiatives that include EV Charging installers, heat pump contractors, property managers, SIs and others. The contractor portal enables these contractors and external parties to collaborate with the utilities. The real-time hub enables organisations to discover leads, upload work packages and update progress on projects.

The portal leverages AI and automation to simplify the management of rebates and invoices. Ensuring that even as the volume of work increases, the administration is not burdensome.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

The new feature is just one part of the Spring 24 release by Salesforce. The clean energy program management removes much of the burden that utility companies face when setting up new initiatives. Using this new feature to help manage all programs from a single location improves efficiency. It also helps to deliver a better partner and customer experience.

It will be interesting to see how utility organisations leverage this new feature and what difference it makes in the reduction of CO2 emissions and the adoption of clean energy.


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