National Grid & SmartWatt: United In Serving Small Businesses

Since its founding over three decades ago, National Grid has remained committed to meeting the energy needs of residents and commercial organizations, providing electricity to 3.4 million customers in upstate New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. In 2008 they former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer set a goal to reduce energy consumption state-wide by 15 percent in seven years.

The Partnership Begins

In order to meet this ambitious target, National Grid worked aggressively with large companies to improve energy efficiencies. The utility soon found itself in unfamiliar territory: the small business market.

So in 2009, the utility collaborated with SmartWatt, an energy optimization expert in small businesses, initiating what would become a successful partnership.

Collectively, small businesses constitute an enormous energy consumer, making them a key component in National Grid’s overall energy reduction strategy. Under its attractive Small Business Energy Efficiency Program, National Grid pays up to 60% of the cost of a business’s energy optimization project, with on-bill financing for the remaining share at 0% interest up to 12 months. SmartWatt demonstrated it could market and manage this program, while providing turnkey services including lead generation, auditing, construction management, material procurement, electric labor, quality control/post installation verification and complaint resolution.

For the next three years, SmartWatt’s projects for National Grid small business customers consisted primarily of T12-T8 fluorescent lighting conversions.

Beginning in 2012, modernizing energy systems included interior and exterior LED lighting solutions that are energy efficient, provide even light distribution, and require minimal maintenance. Some earlier customers are returning to integrate energy saving refrigeration measures. For instance, SmartWatt is helping convenience stores replace old shaded pole motors common in walk-in coolers with intelligent, electrically commutated motors (ECM) and controls which activate the anti-condensation fans only when necessary.

The Results

SmartWatt has completed over 5,300 projects to help National Grid meet its energy efficiency goal for the small business market.

A lack of capital is often cited as the main reason many organizations fail to implement energy optimization initiatives.Through the Small Business Energy Efficiency Program, SmartWatt helped secure $23,437,781 in total incentives, and cut energy bills by 20%-40% (112K/MWh from 2009-2016). It’s money owners rely on to stay afloat or invest in their employees and core mission. The modern, attractive lighting upgrades also improve the appearance of facilities, making businesses more inviting to customers, and aesthetically pleasing to staff.

We are very impressed with the new look in the shop, how clean and bright the lighting looks and how quickly the work was completed,” says Ralph & Mike, Owners of Ralph’s Diesel Service, a National Grid consumer and SmartWatt customer.

At SmartWatt, success is measured in the satisfaction of its utility partners and the customers jointly served. Based on 2016 responses, National Grid held an outstanding NPS Customer Satisfaction rating of 81.4*, far surpassing the industry average of 12, which translates into many happy customers.

As this collaboration enters its eighth year, SmartWatt is diversifying offerings to deliver even greater value and satisfaction.

To find out how to begin a partnership with SmartWatt, visit www.smartwatt.com.

*Rating is out of +100 and based on 2016 customer service results

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