Energy Service Subscription pilot program in Florida paired flat monthly customer payments with renewable energy and smart thermostats
Smart Electric Power Alliance annual awards recognize organizations and individuals creating a modern, carbon-free future.
St. Petersburg, Fla. – A Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) subscription pilot program that bundled customer benefits with clean, renewable energy has won top honors from the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), a nonprofit organization that champions safe, affordable, reliable, resilient and equitable carbon-free energy.
Duke Energy was named SEPA’s 2022 Utility Transformation Program of the Year award winner for its Energy Service Subscription pilot program, a fixed bill program with a renewable energy match. SEPA’s annual award, now in its fourteenth year, recognizes specific, innovative projects and contributions by utilities, organizations and individuals to advance the modern, carbon-free future of electricity.
A flat-rate bill with no surprises
The Energy Service Subscription pilot – branded as Your FixedBill for customers – ran from August 2021 to August 2022 and allowed participants in Florida to pay the same flat-rate energy bill for 12 months with no adjustments at the conclusion of the program. Customers were guaranteed the same rate each month, even through market price fluctuations – such as fuel – or drastic weather changes that normally drive up energy costs. Monthly payments were based on customers’ past energy usage, historical average weather temperatures and a small program fee.
“Knowing that the amount on your energy bill won’t change – and that you won’t have a year-end settle-up payment – creates a sense of security,” said Lon Huber, Duke Energy’s senior vice president of pricing and customer solutions. “We know that having peace of mind around bills is important – and Duke Energy is always looking for ways to maximize value and benefits for our customers when we design new programs.”
Bundling for clean energy
As part of the pilot program bundle, Duke Energy matched customers’ electric energy usage with an equal amount of renewable energy attributes for a year – called the Renewable Energy Bonus – at no additional cost. The program also provided a financial bonus for pilot participants who chose to register their smart thermostats, allowing Duke Energy to make slight temperature adjustments during periods of peak energy demand.
“Duke Energy pilot programs help us understand what is important to customers – including predictable bills in times when finances may be more uncertain,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy’s Florida state president. “Fine-tuning these early programs based on participant feedback will help us deliver on our promise to provide lasting value to our customers.”
Based on the success of the pilot, Duke Energy has filed for a permanent program in Florida with the Florida Public Service Commission. If approved, the program would also designate up to 1,000 free or low-cost smart thermostats to low-income and vulnerable customers to make the program accessible to more customers.
“Our customers have shared with us how important clean energy is to them. Duke Energy is creating diverse, clean and reliable energy infrastructure for the future,” said Huber. “Programs like Your FixedBill help reduce customers’ electricity-based carbon footprint without the expense of installing and maintaining renewable equipment at home.”
The Energy Service Subscription pilot program was made possible in part by Uplight, whose Plus software for subscription energy enabled the pilot’s smart thermostat optimization via demand response.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2022 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Duke Energy media contact: Logan Kureczka