People always talk about being flexible at your job, but last year’s corona virus pandemic challenged everyone’s adaptability. For PPL Electric Utilities’ Winter Relief Assistance Program (WRAP) it meant changing the way services were delivered to customers.

“As the coronavirus spread, utility companies stopped in-home energy audits to help control the spread of the virus,” said WRAP Program Manager Tom Fleming. “Our technicians weren’t able to do their job. So, within a span of a few weeks, we had to pivot our entire business model.”

Before COVID-19 hit, the WRAP program provided customers with an in-home energy assessment that included the installation of energy-saving measures, such as LED bulbs and smart power strips, and delivered valuable energy-efficiency education. The program helped PPL customers become more knowledgeable about their energy consumption and helped them reduce their bills.

Once in-home energy assessments were no longer an option, Fleming’s team still kept PPL’s customers front of mind. Instead of stopping the energy audit program, the PPL team adapted an innovative approach to the energy assessment—a remote energy assessment (REA). The REA provided customers with the same energy assessment and energy education from the comfort of their home, without an energy advisor visiting them in-person.

By performing energy assessments remotely, CMC also was able to give customers more time flexibility. Rather than needing to coordinate an appointment, PPL’s customers were able to complete the assessment at their leisure. This initiative also helped reduce technicians’ drive times and subsequent carbon emissions.

“Our team created custom energy assessment packages with easy-to-install energy efficiency measures and sent them directly to customers,” Fleming said. “Through this approach, we were able to conduct thousands of remote energy assessments without entering customers’ homes and, potentially, spreading the coronavirus.”

To further assist customers, Fleming and his team also developed a YouTube channel to demonstrate installation of light bulbs, shower heads and other energy saving devices.

Despite the pandemic and its impact, Fleming and his team exceeded their original revenue projections. The program was so successful that PPL included REAs in their future phase planning. Now, customers will be able to benefit from remote energy assessments for years to come, saving time and carbon emissions in the process.

“I’m super proud of everyone on the team,” Fleming said. “They rose to challenge and maintained CMC’s quality and customer service.”

In line with CMC’s values, the PPL team put the needs of customers first. They pursued excellence in their problem-solving, developing an approach to energy assessment that kept customers safe, saved energy costs, and lessened CMC’s overall carbon footprint. As CMC Energy Services looks to the future of energy savings, it’s this kind of innovation that guarantees a clean, sustainable, and equitable future for both our employees and our customers.

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