Energy Efficiency Economics & Markets

Markets and Strategy

Development of a Marketing Strategy for Retailing Energy

Client: National Energy Retailer

EnergyConsult staff?conducted a detailed market and competitor analysis to develop detailed scenarios and strategic options for the retailer post-contestability. Market research sources, likely competitor behaviour and the financial impact of competition were all reviewed. Following the presentation and acceptance of this material by senior management, a complete marketing strategy was developed for the residential and small business sectors, which included strategies for product development, pricing, market segmentation, positioning, alliances and marketing channels.

Energy Information Management System

Client: Management Consulting Firm in Australia

With the growing number of natural monopolistic energy utilities transforming into competitive energy markets, the demand for processed data resulting from the operation of these markets is also increasing. EnergyConsult staff provided expert services to a leading management consulting house in Australia to implement its strategic plan to acquire, manage and host historic and real time data of various energy markets all around the world. This plan was implemented in phases. In the first phase the operations data of electricity markets in Australia and New Zealand was acquired and managed and hosted through an online databases on a SQL platform. Hosting of databases of US and European electricity markets was scheduled for the next phase.

Bush for Greenhouse Program

Client: Carbon Broker

EnergyConsult?researched corporate interest in an investment scheme designed to encourage companies to invest in revegetation activities on previously cleared farmland in Australia. The benefits to those companies from their investment will be the ability to claim carbon offsets through the program. For the project, EnergyConsult developed a questionnaire and conducted in-person and telephone interviews with representatives of large corporations throughout Australia. Research results were used to assist the Carbon Broker in planning the most effective marketing approach for the Bush for Greenhouse program to corporations and to determine whether the Bush for Greenhouse program would be of interest to corporations as a scheme for offsetting their carbon emissions or minimising business risk. The Carbon Broker was a consortium consisting of Ernst and Young, Landcare Australia and Greening Australia, in conjunction with the Australian Greenhouse Offie

DSM Response Benefit Analysis Tool

Client: Australian Electricity Retailer of

This product was developed for an Australian retailer of electricity that offers DSM products to reduce its exposure to the vulnerability of wholesale market prices. The utility sought voluntary load shedding by customers as a response to very high spot prices of electricity in the wholesale market. The tool compares 5 min interval data of the electricity wholesale market and customer load spanned over past 1 year. It then generates detailed reports that outline summary of high pool price events, risk exposure to the utility during such events, benefits of reduced risk exposure due to load reduction by the customer and distribution of benefits to both customer and the retailer.

Assessment of Market Reaction and Barriers to a New Off-Peak Energy Tariff and Metering System

Client: Australian Electrical Utility

EnergyConsult staff undertook an extensive study of the impact of a tariff and metering change on customer satisfaction and the perceived performance of hot water systems for a Victorian electricity utility. This assignment involved determining which market segments should and should not have the new meters installed, having determined the likelihood of some segments reacting negatively to the changes in service. Face-to-face interviews, telephone surveys and non-parametric statistical analyses were used extensively in this project.

Decision-Support Tool for Sales

Client: Australian Electricity Utility

EnergyConsult staff provided technical services in conceptualising and developing this product for a leading Australian electricity supplier. The tool was developed to assist the sales team in estimating the optimum electricity tariffs based on customers voluntary load reduction plan and forecasted pool price of electricity.

Analysis of Customer Contribution by Product and Market Segment

Client: Australian Electric Utility

EnergyConsult completed an analysis of the revenue and margin contribution of customers over the product range of an energy retailer in its present and planned pricing zones and markets. The analysis resulted in first understanding by the retailer of the value drivers of its retail operation, the present and potential financial contribution of its markets and its different customer segments. This study was a major contribution to the strategic planning process and marketing strategy of the company.

Assessment of Attractiveness of NSW Natural Gas Market

Client: Australian gas and electricity retailer

One of the largest Australian gas and electricity retailer wanted to develop an appropriate strategy to enter as retailer of natural gas in the state of NSW. EnergyConsult staff used sophisticated data construction techniques, rather than expensive and time intensive conventional market research and business intelligence methods, to developed an in-depth understanding of the NSW gas market.

Market Segmentation Analysis and Customer Churn Modelling

Client: Australian Energy Utility

EnergyConsult staff?analysed existing market research and customer value data to develop a multi-dimensional market segmentation framework for the utility's residential market. The market was segmented according to the demographic, financial contribution and attitudes of the customer base. A model of customer churn in the competitive market was then developed, which incorporated the findings of this analysis and information on the distribution of customer consumption, to estimate the impact of customer churn on customer numbers, aggregate consumption, revenue and margins under a variety of scenarios. The model was used to drive business forecasts and strategic planning.

Electricity Market Simulator

Client: Multiple

While more and more countries are restructuring energy sector to promote competition, it is becoming debatable as which market model works better than the other under different market conditions. This project developed an interactive simulator to assess the operation of a competitive electricity market under different scenarios to establish the most suitable option for a country/ utility . Developed with significant contribution from EnergyConsult staff, the simulator replicates real time and interactive conditions of the market. The participants, representing various market players e.g. generators, retailers, distributors, customers, regulators and market administrator, control their operating parameters to simulate different market situations under changing supply and demand, and regulatory conditions.

Energy Market Analysis and Segmentation

Client: a large energy retailer

EnergyConsult was involved in a comprehensive analysis of their franchise energy market. The project included developing a model for forecasting end-use market shares for different energy sources, based on price differentials, customer preferences regarding various energy sources, and customer decision-making criteria. EnergyConsult conducted focus groups and developed energy usage surveys that were used to gather the required data.

Analysis of Customer Behaviour

Client: Asia Electricity Utility

The study was aimed at developing methodology for estimating customer response to various programs and strategies (marketing, pricing, energy efficiency and DSM) by different segments of large commercial and industrial customers. This study involved analysis of Market Research data, collected through personal interviews, together with energy audit and load research data. Demographic (firmographic in case of business customers), psycho-graphic and behavioural attributes were used to establish behavioural profiles of various customer segments. Cross Tabs, Multinomial Logistic and Optimal Scaling Regression Techniques, and Independent Samples Means Tests were used to refine the segment profiles.

Development of a Predictive Model for Assigning Customers to Market Segments

Client: Australian Electricity Retailer

EnergyConsult staff?developed a predictive model for assigning customers to market segments that related to their probable future domestic heating appliance usage. As heating appliance usage was the major determinant of fuel and energy tariff usage, this project was expected to have major benefits in improving the effectiveness of future direct marketing programs. This project involved an extensive re-analysis of market research and customer energy usage data collected over the preceding five years, coupled with the use of sophisticated non-parametric statistical techniques.

Analysis of Trade Flow and Benchmarking of Electric Motor Efficiencies in Five Asian Countries

Client: the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO)

The primary objectives of this study were to assess and analyse trade flows between Australia and Thailand, Malaysia, China & Taiwan. The study also benchmarked efficiencies in these five markets against each other. EnergyConsult was responsible for collection and analysis of Australian data and production of final report.

For more information, refer to the report here

Contestable Customer Survey in the Competitive Electricity Market

Client: Australian electricity utilities

EnergyConsult staff?participated in a major study of the experiences of contestable business customers in the Victorian and NSW Electricity Market. The study explored the needs, expectations and decision-making processes of contestable customers and recorded the experiences of these customers in the deregulated market. EnergyConsult staff conducted a considerable number of in-depth interviews with contestable customers, brokers and associations.

Quantifying the Cost Structure for Water Heating Systems In New Zealand & Cost Benefit Analysis

Client: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, New Zealand

EnergyConsult conducted market research into the installed costs of the variety of hot water systems used throughout New Zealand. The costs and the components of the costs were determined by hot water system type and by locality. Through stakeholder consultation information was gathered into the market dynamics which drove prices and costs in the industry. This information was then used in a cost benefit/payback study of air sourced heat pump water heaters in New Zealand climates.

Development and Management of Customer Satisfaction Surveys and On-Going Tracking Surveys

Client: Electricity Utility

EnergyConsult staff?developed and conducted an extensive customer satisfaction survey using the Applied Service Quality approach for an Australian electricity utility. This involved undertaking a series of in-depth interviews with management, staff and customers and running focus groups for domestic and business customers and using the resulting information to develop a comprehensive customer satisfaction survey. The survey involved conducting an extensive telephone survey and analysis of the data using non-parametric techniques. Recommendations concerning process improvements that would produce the maximum improvements in overall satisfaction were made.

Warm Homes- Detailed Study of Heating Options in New Zealand

Client: Ministry of Environment, New Zealand

This project formed part of their Warm Homes Project which examined ways to encourage New Zealand households to move to cleaner heating sources, to increase household energy efficiency and to encourage generally warmer and healthier homes. EnergyConsult undertook detailed research of residential heating options and their energy, environment and cost/benefit impacts. The heating requirements of different household types, with different lifestyles, were examined for the different climates in New Zealand. The ability of a range of heating options to meet these requirements and the financial/energy/environmental implications of the heating options were researched and modelled. The model predicted preferred heating types based on various criteria.

Load Research and Tariff Restructuring – Jordan

Client: The?Jordan Government

In order to minimize rising costs of imported fuels, the Jordanian government wishes to embark upon a comprehensive DSM plan. EnergyConsult assessed the DSM potential and identified target customer segments and end-uses. Load research was undertaken and the existing tariff structure was thoroughly reviewed. The outcomes of load research were used to allocate the costs of supply to various customer classes to produce new tariff structures.

Enhancing Greenhouse Abatement through Professional and Vocational Training

Client: Australian Greenhouse Office

EnergyConsult?led a national review for the Australian Greenhouse Office of professional and vocational training to identify opportunities and methods for increasing the implementation of greenhouse abatement opportunities. Key professions and trades were identified and their training processes analysed to identify the processes and methods required to include greenhouse abatement as part of their training. Consultation with the relevant professional and vocational training bodied was undertaken. An implementation strategy was developed and reported.

Market-Energy Profiling of Very Large Customers – Saudi Arabia

Client: The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC)

The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) while undergoing a major organizational restructuring anticipated transformation of existing vertically state owned electricity industry into a competitive market. In anticipation of initial phases of competition SEC desired to bring about management reforms to address customer relationship, rates structures and contract negotiations. This study was aimed at analysing various attributes of transmission level customers (receiving supply at 110kV and above) to identify their energy related needs that can be served through special contractual agreement. This included creating detailed customer profiles to develop appropriate marketing and CRM strategies and design of rates on the basis of customer load profile and usage patterns.

New Home Fixed Appliance Purchase, Fuel Choice and Decision Making

Client: Australian Energy Utility

EnergyConsult staff developed a survey of new home occupiers in Victoria to determine the market share of gas and electricity across a variety of end-uses and to survey new homes appliance stocks. A major focus of this research was on determining who were the decision makers, what was the decision making processes and what were the decision criteria used in choosing hot water, heating, cooking and air conditioning systems. Ensuring the results were statistically valid was a challenge, given the small and diverse population base and the difficulty in identifying relevant customers. The decision-making processes were mapped and recommendations concerning marketing communication strategies and the use of marketing channels were also developed.

Economic Analysis of Mass Roll Out of Electronic Interval Meters in Victoria

Client: Office of the Regulator General of Victoria (later became Essential Services Commission)

This study was aimed at providing comprehensive cost benefit analysis of an anticipated mass rollout of interval meters in the state. EnergyConsult staff provided major contribution to the detailed cost benefit assessment of the rollout under 50 different scenarios on the basis of meter technologies and rollout schemes.

Evaluation and Future Directions for the Energy Efficiency Exchange Website

Client: The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism

EnergyConsult?conducted an investigation of the then current Energy Efficiency Exchange Website(EEX) for the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism to determine the present extent of knowledge of the site, its usage and its perceived usefulness. The current information needs of the target audience, i.e. managers of energy efficiency developments in industry and large commercial sites, were investigated and how these needs could best be fulfilled. Approaches taken in other web sites and by similar government agencies were investigated. A potential development strategy for the EEX was prepared.

Analysis of Bidding Behaviour of Generators

Client: confidential

This study was aimed at exploring the underlying factors responsible for variations in pool price of the NEM. A key factor was considered to be the bidding behaviour of the generators on the basis of their technical, operational and financial attributes. EnergyConsult developed a database that comprised of one-year half hourly bidding history of 200 generating units in Australia's competitive electricity market. The results demonstrated that representative supply curves of generators could be produced at season, time-of-day, and type of day levels. These representative supply curves were then used as inputs into various electricity market simulators to forecast market behaviour.

Design of a Smog Reduction Program for Christchurch, New Zealand

Client: Christchurch City Council

EnergyConsult staff developed a program to encourage the adoption of low emission heating equipment for the residential sector. The project assessed the achievable market for the program and determined the eligibility criteria, financial incentives and types of program technologies. The program design also included the offer of an insulation retrofit to improve the thermal efficiency of the houses that install eligible heating technologies.

Load Research Simulator

Client: Various

Load research is an important utility activity that provides a wealth of information essential to several key utility functions such as; System Planning and Operation, Load Forecasting, Tariff and Rate Design, and Satisfying Regulatory Requirements. Traditional load research is highly data and time intensive, and requires substantial funding. These aspects of traditional load research have restricted large-scale involvement by electricity utility in Australia. EnergyConsult successfully demonstrated that load research studies could be conducted at significantly lower costs using simulation models. The simulation model developed by EnergyConsult uses market research data, appliance penetration levels and technical specifications, grid substation/feeder and generation data, and energy sales data. The model significantly lowers the cost of load research without compromising the accuracy levels. The model also offers greater degree of understanding of energy use against critical variables such as changing weather conditions and seasonal variations in the economic conditions. The model allows simulation of different scenarios e.g. effects of a direct control load management program, variation in lifestyle and technology.