The Challenge of Communicating Rate Change

October 27, 2020 | 2:00 Eastern

The future of electricity pricing clearly points to rates that move away from traditional volumetric pricing (total kWh) to some form of a time-based method such as TOU and demand. The forces driving this change are the increased use of solar, opportunities with customer-owned batteries and EVs, as well as the increasing costs of preserving grid reliability, especially in the face of declining kWh sales.

Changes in pricing methodology of course create winners and losers. This is a terrible term, but losers accurately depict those who disbenefit from price changes without behavior changes. And, even though some can achieve lower prices with behavior changes, losers tend to complain loudly and vehemently. Their anger can swamp the call center, drag down customer satisfaction, and derail regulatory progress. Therefore, it is natural for utilities to try to put this off as long as possible. Nevertheless, it may be wise to begin educating customers even before an anticipating pricing change so they understand the business and societal logic behind it and so they understand how to save money on the new rate.

Join us for a thought-provoking look at these challenges along with some creative approaches to rate communications. Joel Gilbert, Apogee’s founder, and industry visionary will present a structured approach to confronting this communication challenge. Joel will show, with his usual entertaining style, that the natural reaction of not wanting to communicate “bad news” actually backfires.

Utilities fare far better by sharing the facts early. Knowing who the “losers” will be on any rate gives utilities the upper hand in this transition. Joel will illustrate how energy companies can present rate changes as a choice rather than cost recovery and why and when grandfathering to an existing rate is recommended.

Our agenda includes:

  • Why Rate Transition is Necessary
  • Identifying Winners and Losers
  • Crafting the Communication Strategy
  • Success Stories & Lessons Learned
  • Situations Requiring Grandfathering.


Speaker Bio

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