Study: Money trumps morals for getting customers to save energy | Energy News Network

Ultimately, researchers concluded that utilities should use a combination of both customer messaging and dynamic pricing.

Since 2007, ComEd and Ameren customers who participate in opt-in hourly pricing programs have saved $27 million while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to Elevate Energy, who administers the program.

Still, today, most utility customers pay an average price for electricity. Policy makers and some consumer advocates say that flat-rate billing stabilizes energy markets and prevents skyrocketing electricity bills, particularly for low-income customers.

The goal of dynamic pricing is to encourage customers to conserve energy, but it requires them to take some initiative, so what happens to the person who doesn’t turn off the dishwasher during those hot summer afternoons? Will they just end up paying more?

The Environmental Defense Fund and the Illinois Citizens Utility Board released a study last year that dug into these questions. It found the average ComEd customer who participates in certain hourly pricing programs could save an average of $86.63 annually.

“The fact that ComEd customers would have benefited nearly universally from real-time pricing during 2016 indicates that this program can be a consumer asset on a much larger scale and across a far larger territory than it has been deployed to date,” according to the group’s white paper.

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Study: Money trumps morals for getting customers to save energy | Energy News Network.