National Grid: Small Business Energy Efficiency Program

THE CHALLENGE
National Grid needed a partner who could provide technical expertise, experience, and total turnkey service. The scope of work included program management, lead generation, auditing, material procurement, construction management, project installation, and quality control/post installation verification. SmartWatt demonstrated it could fulfill all these responsibilities while keeping National Grid’s customers happy.

After a highly competitive bidding process, SmartWatt won the contract in 2009 for National Grid’s Central territory, setting the stage for years of successful collaborations.

A lack of capital hindered many small businesses from completing energy optimization initiatives. Under National Grid designed its Small Business Program after several years of success operating similar programs in other states.  The utility pays up to 60% of the project cost, with on-bill financing for the remaining share at 0% interest for up to 12 months. Customers that pay their share in a single lump sum are provided a 5% discount.

THE SOLUTION
SmartWatt provides full turnkey program implementation within the Central, Northern and Mohawk Valley regions of NY. In-house services include program administration, lead generation, auditing, construction management, material procurement, electric labor, and quality control/post installation verification.

From 2009 to present, SmartWatt completed over 9,300 projects to help National Grid meet energy efficiency goals for small business customers. SmartWatt performed so well that the utility twice expanded SmartWatt’s territory to include the Northern and Mohawk Valley regions of Upstate NY.

In the program’s early days, improvement projects consisted mostly of T12 to T8 fluorescent lighting conversions. More recently, the program has expanded to allow SmartWatt to focus on modernizing the energy systems bringing a full suite of cutting edge technologies to small businesses with interior and exterior lighting solutions that include energy efficient LEDs that provide even lighting distribution, and require minimal maintenance, as well as latest advancements in refrigeration system efficiency, and HVAC controls.

THE IMPACT
SmartWatt has helped small businesses secure $23.4 million in total incentives, and cut energy bills between 20% and 40%. That’s money that small businesses rely on to grow their business, expand operations, and create jobs in their local community. The modern, attractive lighting upgrades also improve the appearance of facilities, making them more inviting to customers, and aesthetically pleasing to owners and staff. As Ralph & Mike, Owners of Ralph’s Diesel Service said, “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.”

SmartWatt remains committed to bringing energy optimization solutions to even more National Grid small business customers. Based on 2016 responses, the utility held an outstanding NPS Customer Satisfaction rating of 81.4, far surpassing the industry average of 12.

SmartWatt has always been different in the way we conceive and manage projects. Our SmartFit approach reflects our deep experience in. More important, SmartFit reflects our deep commitment to helping you succeed in ways and levels you cannot imagine. We go further, delve deeper, and work smarter to ensure your project is successful – and to ensure you’re successful.

The partnership between SmartWatt and National Grid has been successful beyond all expectations, driven by SmartWatt’s extensive experience and deep commitment; going deeper and working smarter to design and install projects that ensure the success of the program and a high level of satisfaction of the customers served.

Small business customers served: 9,300
MWh savings (2009-2016): 112K
Total National Grid incentives received: $23M
Customer service Net Promoter Score (NPS): +81.4 (industry average: +12)

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