Interest Group: Customer Engagement

Customer Engagement Interest Group

PLMA Customer Engagement Interest Group

The PLMA Customer Engagement Interest Group believes peak load management only works when utilities design DR, DER, and managed charging programs with the customer experience in mind. Program efficacy goes beyond MW reduction; customer satisfaction is foundational to future program participation. 

The Group focuses on best practices to understand the customer journey and to drive customer action in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. It also provides education on successful technology, behavioral, and pricing-related programming approaches. Specific areas of focus include:
  • Customer Experience + Satisfaction
  • Customer Journey
  • Taking Programs to Scale
  • Personas
  • Holistic Approaches
  • Targeted Messaging

The group co-chairs are Rebekah Grant, Baltimore Gas & Electric; Leigh Winterbottom, ICF; and Ana Villarreal, Com Ed.

Group Leadership

Rebekah Grant, Baltimore Gas & Electric
Rebekah Grant

Baltimore Gas & Electric

Ana Villarreal, Commonwealth Edison
Ana Villarreal

Commonwealth Edison

Leigh Winterbottom, ICF
Leigh Winterbottom


Upcoming Activities - Coming Soon 

Archived Activities

Customer Engagement Virtual Meetup: Key Challenges in Customer Retention
February 8, 2024 | 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm ET

PLMA's Customer Engagement Interest Group invites PLMA members involved in the challenges of customer retention to join us for an informal conversation and brainstorming session.

We welcome your input around your own organization's customer retention experiences, both the positive and the challenging ones, as well as your initiatives in this area, your learnings to date, and the questions you have for industry peers. The Customer Engagement Interest Group Co-Chairs also welcome suggestions for future webinar and conference topics. This session will be a facilitated and interactive conversation among all participants.

Click Here to View the Recording

HOT TOPIC: Maintaining Clean Energy Commitments During COVID
Thursday, July 22, 2021 | 12:30 to 1:30 pm ET
In January 2020, just before onset of the coronavirus, APS committed to 100% carbon free energy by 2050. To achieve this goal, APS charted a roadmap that relies on aggressive pursuit of DR, EE, load management, storage, and beneficial electrification. While APS has already initiated bold steps, its strategic planning—and forecasts of customer participation —didn’t account for the realities arising from this once in a century pandemic. Where others may have balked, APS has chosen to meet the crisis head on. This presentation will use preliminary results from the 2020 DR season to illustrate how APS is remaining true to long-term carbon goals, while addressing immediate customer needs by amending its 2020 DSM Plan to provide more low income and small business assistance, adjusting program participation targets, and adopting new tools, including virtual energy audits. And we’ll discuss ways we’ve adjusted approaches to stay relevant in these changing times. Watch the recording here.

HOT TOPIC: Full House: Residential DR Retention and Recruitment
Thursday, March 4, 2021 | 12:30 to 1:30 pm ET
It has been a wild and wooly year for managing residential demand response programs. In addition to normal program management we have had the additional challenges of our customers and ourselves having to shelter-in-place, as well as the difficulty predicting changes in customer behavior this new normal brings. Join the Customer Engagement Interest Group to learn more about challenges your utility peers have faced and some of the approaches they have taken to keep their programs fully subscribed and delivering results while customers’ homes are more fully occupied. Watch the recording here.

HOT TOPIC: Burning Topics in Customer Engagement
August 20, 2020
PLMA's Customer Engagement Interest Group invites you to join an interactive conversation about today's most important and impactful DR issues. This session will be an unscripted question and answer discussion in which we'll share experiences, successes, and lessons learned across a spectrum of customer engagement programs. Please bring a story or an example with you to discuss with the group co-chairs and your fellow PLMA member practitioners. Watch the recording here.

HOT TOPIC: Utility Programs that Help Families in COVID-19 Quarantine
July 2, 2020
Diana Sefcik led the online conversation that explored some of the utility programs now in place to help families through COVID-19 quarantine, including managing energy bills while coping with the challenges of educating and entertaining children and others at home. This conversation was for members only, and you must be signed in to access the recording. Watch the recording here.

Customer Engagement Interest Group Discussion
March 26, 2020
Behavioral Demand Response Programs with Scott Jarman, Austin Energy; Tom Hines, Arizona Public Service; Leigh Jarosinski, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company; and Julie Cain, CPS Energy, Thursday, March 26, 2020, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Eastern. View the March 26 Recording.

Customer Engagement Interest Group Pre-Conference Meeting
Presented November 4, 2019 before the 40th PLMA Conference in St. Petersburg, FL
See 40th PLMA Resources for presentation links

Using Marketplaces to Drive Demand Response Adoption and Participation
with Scott Jarman, Austin Energy; Nicholas Lovier, Ameren Missouri; Kristen Kadetsky, Uplight; and Doug Kraft, Franklin Energy Services
Presented Thursday, October 31, 2019

Customer Engagement Interest Group Pre-Conference Meeting
Presented May 13, 2019 before the 39th PLMA Conference in Minneapolis, MN
See 39th PLMA Resources for presentation links

Customer Engagement Interest Group Pre-Conference Meeting
Presented Nov. 15, 2018 before the 38th PLMA Conference in Austin, TX
See 38th PLMA Resources for presentation links

Customer Engagement Interest Group Pre-Conference Meeting
Presented April 16, 2018 before the 37th PLMA Conference in Coronado, CA
See 37th PLMA Resources for presentation links

Pre-Conference meeting at the 36th PLMA Conference in Cambridge, Mass. Nov. 13, 2017.
See agenda with presentation links.

Women in DM & Customer Engagement Joint Discussion: Journey to Understanding the Customer Experience
CLICK HERE to learn more and register and listen to the free recording

Founding Meeting, November 7, 2016, Delray Beach, Florida
The Group had its initial kickoff meeting during the pre-conference interest group meetings at the 34th PLMA Conference.

PLMA Interest Group membership is restricted to representatives from PLMA member organizations, but any organization is welcome to join PLMA. To add your name to this list and receive Group Communications, email [email protected].