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 we get customers to engage fully, and at a scale sufficient to move the needle. The group addresses key areas of customer engagement for demand response programs. It is focused on best practices to drive customer action in the residential, commercial/industrial, and irrigation sectors; and on providing education about engagement offerings, whether they are technology-based, behaviorally focused, or connected to dynamic pricing rates.

Specifically, the group focuses on these key areas:

  • Customer experience;
  • Customer journey;
  • Taking programs to scale;
  • Personas;
  • Holistic approaches;
  • Targeted messaging; and
  • Customer satisfaction.

The group co-chairs are Lenore Zeuthen, Independent Consultant; Vanessa Richter, Oracle Utilities; Rebekah Grant, Baltimore Gas & Electric; 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

Lenore Zeuthen, Independent Consultant
Lenore Zeuthen

Independent Consultant

Vanessa Richter, Oracle Utilities
Vanessa Richter

Oracle Utilities


Archived Activities

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].