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Peak Day Pricing Semi-Annual Report

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  1. Peak Day PricingSemi-Annual Report December 14, 2010

  2. Topics • Summary • Outreach Objectives, Strategy and Execution Supporting Initial Roll-Out • Performance Against Key Goals • Key Learnings • Outreach and Education Plans for 2011

  3. Key Takeaways • Feedback from the first wave of customers transitioned to PDP in 2010: • Barriers for participation based on perceptions • Certain key messages motivate participation • Multiple customer touch points are needed • Ongoing outreach is important

  4. Outreach Objectives,Strategy and Executionfor LC&I Transition

  5. Outreach Objectives • Drive customer awareness of the PDP plan. • Drive customer understanding of the rate and how it might affect their business. • Drive customer satisfaction with outreach experience.

  6. Outreach Strategy • To meet these objectives, PG&E developed an integrated, multi-phased outreach strategy and marketing platform that: • Focused on key points in time related to the rate • Provided information through multiple touch points • Provided ongoing support throughout the first season

  7. Outreach Strategy • Outreach was designed to help customers understand the critical aspects of PDP for their business: • What is it? • Why is it happening? • So what does this mean for each customer? • Now what should each customer do?

  8. LC&I 2010 Outreach Activities • Rate Awareness • Goal • Inform customers of the rates, when they are coming, and provides options for beginning their education • Execution • 11,000+ pieces of direct mail and e-mail were sent, including a customized letter from PG&E’s President • Mass Media (Radio) • Website information/tools and paper-based fact sheets were provided

  9. LC&I 2010 Outreach Activities • Rate Education • Goal • Provide education around overall rate components and individual effect of the rates and options • Execution • In-Person workshops • Webinars • 1:1 presentations with customers, customized bill analysis and information kit

  10. LC&I 2010 Outreach Activities • Pre/Post Transition Awareness • Goal • Ensure customers were aware of their transition and knew how to take action • Execution • 60-day and 30-day default letters

  11. LC&I 2010 Outreach Activities • Event Notifications • Goal • Ensure customers were aware of – and prepared for – PDP Event days • Execution • Event Day 24-hour notices sent to customers • Alerts posted a day ahead/of to pge.com • Pre-Event Courtesy Calls, delivered by Account Representatives • Implemented a practice Event Day prior to the first actual Event Day • Internal corporate communication sent to all key stakeholders 2010 Event Days Called

  12. LC&I 2010 Outreach Activities • Ongoing Support • Goal • Ensure the official notices were received, and that the customers were aware of how to best perform on an Event Day • Execution • Created a new Customer Impact team that was intensively trained on PDP, and deployed regionally to coordinate local outreach efforts • Post-Event Day follow-up calls • Implemented a dedicated PDP information line for customers • Pre- and Post-Event Bill Explanation

  13. PerformanceAgainst Key Goals

  14. Goal: Drive customer awareness of the PDP plan • Virtually all decision-makers were familiar with transition to Peak Day Pricing. • The top five sources of awareness were all PG&E’s, leading with PG&E Account Representatives • Other key sources included bill analysis, pge.com website and PG&E workshops • This was true for all customers, regardless of whether they enrolled or opted out

  15. Goal: Drive understanding of the rate and how it would affect customers’ business • PDP participants understood the main reasons behind the transition: decreasing peak demand, saving energy, and managing power consumption. • Customers stated they were provided with information to make an informed decision (mean rating of 7.7 on a scale of 1 to 10) • Most (76%) strongly agreed that they would need to manage energy use differently • Few (16%) felt their enrollment decision was difficult

  16. Goal: Drive understanding of the rate and how it would affect customers’ business • A large majority (72%) strongly agreed they knew in advance when Events were coming, and 82% said their company took some action on Event Days. • 59% of participants said they took action to prepare for PDP in advance of Event days • Types of actions varied, from indicating specific plans or actions to more vague responses like “conserved energy”

  17. Goal: Drive customer satisfaction with outreach experience • PG&E Account Reps were highly valued for their assistance. • 3 in 4 enrollees said their engagement with a Rep was “very informative” • Interact received very high marks overall and for value of information. • PG&E information and tools were informative in helping customers participate in PDP. • Average rating of 7.0

  18. Key Learnings

  19. Rate Complexity • PDP is a complicated rate. Messages need to be delivered simply and—ideally—in a phased approach to help customers understand how it will impact them. • Peak, partial peak and off-peak is familiar to most participants, presenting PDP components is more challenging • Customers gave PG&E high marks for “understanding” and satisfaction measures related to outreach

  20. Perceived Barriers: Rate Increase • When customers first hear about the rate, many incorrectly assume it’s an attempt of PG&E to make more money and/or unfairly target their business. • Customers assume a new rate plan will result in a rate increase • Customers do not understand PDP’s relationship to California’s statewide energy policy • Customers do not understand that PG&E does not make more money from the executing this policy, or when customers pay more

  21. Perceived Barriers: Unable to Save • When customers first hear about the rate, many feel their company will be hurt by the rate because they can’t shift load during peak periods. • 54% reported opting out because they felt it would be too difficult for them to shift load during peak times • 21% said they opted out because rates were too high during peak times

  22. Bottom Line Is Key • Decision to participate was driven primarily by bottom line concerns and how this rate will impact their bills. • 54% of participants expected it would make financial sense to participate on PDP to reduce their energy bills and save money • Customers told Account Reps that PDP costs extend beyond rate components, i.e. operations, labor, etc. • Customers also reported business concerns regarding cash flow and monthly bill volatility

  23. Rolling Eligibility • Rolling customer eligibility introduces logistical challenges and makes it harder to deploy messages that are timely for all customers. • When customers become eligible for PDP, they are automatically enrolled onto the rate, regardless of time of year • The base of eligible customers has grown 20% since June. Most were added during “Event Season” (prior to Nov. 1)

  24. Web and Phone Support • Web and contact center support are critical channels for our customers, particularly on/around Event Days. • 8 of the largest 9 traffic days to PDP web pages occurred during Event Days • PDP call line traffic jumped by 350% on the first Event Day (vast majority calling to revise notification information or channels)

  25. LC&I Affirm/Opt-Out Statistics • 4,316 customers were eligible for default as of 6/25. • 37% are participating on the rate • 63% are not participating, by either opting-out (prior to default) or unenrolling (after default) • 234 Opted out into another Demand Response program

  26. Context For Opt-Outs • Decision makers were well informed about the transition to time varying rates and about Peak Day Pricing when they made the decision to opt out. • Average rating of 7.7 (on a scale of 1 to 10) • A majority who opted out because they felt they could not shift load for peak events. • Others were concerned about bill volatility vis a vis their cash flow abilities, and felt they couldn't afford the risk.

  27. 2011 Outreach and Education Plans

  28. Messaging • Continue to refine and simplify language and components of the rate. • Temperature Triggers • Bill Protection/Variability/Cost • Reservation Capacity

  29. Web Content • Continue to evolve website content and flow to create a more informative and intuitive user experience for customers. • Incorporate messaging learnings, add customer-specific content, increase content for topics of customer interest • Provide and enhance Event Day notification and information when needed

  30. LC&I 2011 • Continue to communicate with customers about the rate and how to succeed. • Collect case studies and best practices to share with customers to illustrate opportunities for customers to participate and save • Explore opportunities to move Monday Event notifications to Friday

  31. Large Agriculture 2011 • Employ same approach as LC&I while applying key learnings. • Planned and in-progress activities include: • 1:1 eligible customer contact prior to default with ongoing communication leading up to and through Event season • Build awareness and education through multiple touchpoints • Deepen engagement through community outreach

  32. Small and Medium Business (SMB) 2011 • Tell comprehensive Time Varying Pricing story, in addition to PDP details, to emphasize energy-saving behaviors as new concepts to this audience. Mass Media Direct and Endorsements Grass Roots Direct

  33. Small Agriculture 2011 • Recalibrating timing of marketing and education plans due to revised TOU transition timing of February 2012; will report to CPUC as plan evolves. Mass Media Direct and Endorsements Grass Roots Direct

  34. Questions?