ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 30

to customers," said Cole, who oversees the company's website. "There are some limitations,
however. We were looking for other options to
help customers get individualized, objective and
accurate advice regarding their options."
Consider pricing plans. TEP offers a range of
residential plans that can provide cost-effective
solutions for customers based on their energy
patterns, including standard, time-of-use (TOU)
and demand-based options.
"By helping customers make wise energy
choices and take advantage of off-peak hours,
they're not only saving money, but helping us
manage peak demand and use our existing energy
sources more efficiently," Richerson explained.
It can be a complex calculation, however.
Asking customers to break out the calculators
and pore through their previous bill history wasn't
a viable option.
"Utility rate structures may be second nature
to those of us in the utility industry, but it can be
confusing and frustrating for our customers," said
Ted Burhans, Director of Emerging Technologies
and Innovation at TEP. "The team felt that an interactive tool that reflected an individual customer's
situation could provide the education and confidence customers need to make a smart decision
that fits their lives."
At the time, Burhans was leading a team developing a solution to a related challenge: helping
customers evaluate solar power options. Rooftop
arrays are relatively popular in sunny Tucson, and
many residents were looking to their local utility
for objective information about their potential
costs and benefits.
"Now we were introducing newer and even
more complex terminology, combined with the
need to evaluate a specific customer's choice in
technology investments. We had a vision but
weren't sure what was possible in the marketplace. We were crystal clear, though, on one thing:
We had to get it right."
30  ELECTRIC ENERGY | SPRING 2020

The first step in that case was deciding whether
to build or purchase an online tool. Cost was a
key consideration, as TEP is committed to keeping
rates affordable for customers.
While an internal solution could have been
built from the ground up to meet the company's specific needs, IT resources were in high
demand. So Burhans' team sought out an external
software solution partner who could provide a
web-based calculation engine, crunch up-to-date
datasets and build an intuitive user interface that
meets web accessibility guidelines and supports
mobile devices.
WattPlan® Advisor, developed by Clean Power
Research, was the only system that met TEP's
rigorous specifications. Based on energy valuation
software models developed over two decades,
WattPlan Advisor offered a broad solution set
that could help TEP customers choose the best
solar energy option.
An additional benefit of choosing WattPlan
Advisor became clear when the TEP team realized
that Clean Power Research could configure the
tool to help customers choose the best pricing
plans. While the team considered other outside
options, the opportunity to provide customers
with two robust online tools built on the same
foundation was too promising to pass up.
The TEP Pricing Planner was launched first,
in September 2019, providing personalized
estimates of the average bills customers might
expect to pay on each available TEP pricing plan.
The goal was to help customers select a plan that
works best with their lifestyle. Once TEP finalized
activity on its side, the tool was live in less than
three months of work time, from initial integration to launch.
Unlike some solutions that require significant
custom software development, which can extend
the rollout timeline, TEP was able to configure and
deploy these tools efficiently because WattPlan
Advisor is a proven software-as-a-service solution

specifically designed to reduce time-to-market,
enable rapid configuration and ensure flexibility.
In November, the Solar Analysis tool launched,
providing personalized estimates that compare
the financial, energy and environmental impacts
of various solar energy options. Choices include
rooftop arrays as well as TEP's GoSolar Home
and GoSolar Shares programs, each of which
allow customers to purchase shares in efficient
community-scale projects.
Rolling out the tools in phases gave TEP the
opportunity to build confidence in the tools' value
internally, asking employees to test the tool to
ensure a positive end-user experience.
"The user interface was critical," Burhans said.
"If we had shared a tool that could handle detailed
calculations but looked like a spreadsheet, it
would not have been a winning formula and we
would not have seen widespread utilization. What
really impressed us was our ability to get the tool
deployed quickly-in just a few months-and
with an interface that guides the customer in a
friendly way."
Burhans added that the process of connecting
TEP's hourly usage data to WattPlan Advisor was
smooth. "When we did have questions, the Clean
Power Research team was immediately responsive. I've participated in more than a few software
projects during my time at TEP, and this was one
of the smoothest I have experienced. For customers, there's a lot of credibility that comes from
using 12 full months of their data. It builds trust
that the pricing plan comparison is well-informed
by a customer's own usage patterns."
With positive feedback on both of those services from customers, TEP then turned to Clean
Power Research to configure a third WattPlan
Advisor tool-this one focused on electric vehicles. TEP, along with other utilities in Arizona, is
focused on supporting the growth of zero-emission vehicles as one of the fastest ways to fight
climate change.



ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020

Letter from the 2019-2020 RMEL President
Letter from the Executive Director
RMEL Board of Directors
The Future of Customer Experience in the Energy Industry
Customer Experience and Target Segmentation for Utility Solutions
Data as a Tool for Utility Customers
Intelligence at the Edge: Addressing the New Challenges and New Opportunities of the Modern Grid
Tucson Electric Power Increases Customer Convenience with Personalized Tools
RMEL’s 117th Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention is Heading to Denver
2020 Calendar of Events
Member Listings
Foundation Board of Directors List
Advertisers’ Index
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - Intro
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - bellyband1
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - bellyband2
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - cover1
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - cover2
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 3
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 4
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 5
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - Letter from the 2019-2020 RMEL President
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 7
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - Letter from the Executive Director
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 9
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - RMEL Board of Directors
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 11
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - The Future of Customer Experience in the Energy Industry
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 13
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 14
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 15
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - Customer Experience and Target Segmentation for Utility Solutions
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 17
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 18
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 19
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - Data as a Tool for Utility Customers
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 21
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 22
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 23
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - Intelligence at the Edge: Addressing the New Challenges and New Opportunities of the Modern Grid
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 25
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 26
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 27
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - Tucson Electric Power Increases Customer Convenience with Personalized Tools
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 29
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 30
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 31
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - RMEL’s 117th Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention is Heading to Denver
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 33
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 34
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 2020 Calendar of Events
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - Member Listings
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - 37
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - Advertisers’ Index
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - cover3
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Spring 2020 - cover4
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