Utility Customer Engagement Heightened by Speech Analytics Technology

Utility Customer Engagement Heightened by Speech Analytics Technology

More and more companies are taking advantage of provider services offered by their partners to strengthen utility customer engagement. APGA’s partnership with HomeServe, a leading provider of home emergency repair service plans, enables member gas companies to offer customers access to a suite of energy-related repair service programs. Research shows that customer engagement and satisfaction with the utility is increased when the utility offers such important solutions.

Continue reading in the Fall 2018 edition of APGA’s The Source.

To learn more about how a partnership with HomeServe can help heighten your customer engagement, contact us.

HomeServe Joins This Old House on PBS as Sponsor

HomeServe Joins This Old House on PBS as Sponsor

HomeServe and This Old House partner to educate homeowners with expert advice that helps them maintain, enhance and protect their homes—and raise awareness about the job skills gap and critical demand for skilled contractors in the U.S.

July 10, 2018 – NORWALK, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE) — HomeServe USA, a leading provider of home emergency repair solutions, is proud to be a new sponsor of This Old House on PBS. HomeServe’s protective service plans and installation services give homeowners peace of mind, freeing them from the inconvenience and expense of costly home repairs.

Knowing what is going on within the walls and floors of their homes and under the grass in their yards is important to HomeServe’s customers. For 39 years the This Old House crew has guided homeowners through the process of updating and transforming their homes. This Old House experts are trusted by 2.5 million weekly viewers who look to them for inspiration, expert advice, and how-to instruction about investing in and renewing their homes. With 89 Emmy nominations, the show has won 18 times; the most recent Emmy win for Best Lifestyle Program was awarded in 2016.

“Our partnership with This Old House is a natural fit as we are all on the same team, educating homeowners and helping them navigate the ups and downs of homeownership,” said HomeServe CEO John Kitzie. “We know that This Old House viewers spend many years and thousands of dollars improving their homes. We also know that one broken pipe can throw a lot of that hard work and investment out the window.”

“We are pleased to welcome HomeServe to the This Old House family. Just like This Old House, HomeServe is focused on helping homeowners keep things running smoothly at home. That commitment to homeowners, coupled with HomeServe’s proven customer service track record and efforts to recruit more skilled contractors into the workforce, create the building blocks for a successful partnership,” said Eric Thorkilsen, CEO, This Old House Ventures, LLC.

In addition, HomeServe will partner with This Old House Ventures, LLC in its Generation Next campaign to help close the job skills gap in the building trades. Together, HomeServe and This Old House will raise awareness about the demand for skilled trades people in the U.S. and the rewards of working in the home building and renovating sector. In September, talent from the This Old House television show will join HomeServe representatives during HomeServe’s Annual Contractor Conference.

“The home improvement experts on This Old House are not only trusted by millions of homeowners, but also by contractors and builders. The brand is a recognized leader in helping the contractor community recruit young apprentices into the trades, and as HomeServe continues to grow, we are proud to work together on this effort,” said HomeServe CEO John Kitzie.

About This Old House Ventures, LLC

This Old House Ventures, LLC, is America’s No. 1 multiplatform home-enthusiast brand, providing trusted information and expert advice through its award-winning television shows, This Old House and Ask This Old House, its highly regarded This Old Housemagazine, and its inspiration- and information-driven digital properties, including thisoldhouse.com and the new Millennial site, house.one. This Old House and Ask This Old House are produced by This Old House Ventures, LLC, and are presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. National underwriting for This Old House TV is provided by The Home Depot, GMC, State Farm Insurance Company, HomeServe, and Festool. Established as This Old House Ventures, LLC, the company is headquartered in Stamford, CT, with offices in New York, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Toronto, and its Emmy Award-winning production team stationed in Concord, MA.

About HomeServe

HomeServe USA Corp. (HomeServe) is a leading provider of home repair solutions serving 3.6 million customers across the US and Canada under the HomeServe, Home Emergency Insurance Solutions, Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) and Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) names. Since 2003, HomeServe has been protecting homeowners against the expense and inconvenience of water, sewer, electrical, HVAC and other home repair emergencies by providing affordable repair coverage, installations and quality local service. As an A+ rated Better Business Bureau Accredited Business, HomeServe is dedicated to being a customer-focused company supplying best-in-class repair plans and other services to consumers directly and through over 550 leading municipal, utility and association partners. For more information about HomeServe, a 2017 Connecticut Top Workplace winner and recipient of seventeen 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, or to learn more about HomeServe’s affordable repair plans, please go to www.homeserveusa.com. To connect with HomeServe on Facebook and Twitter, please visit www.facebook.com/homeserveusa and www.twitter.com/homeserveusa.

HomeServe USA

Myles Meehan, 203-356-4259
Hill+Knowlton Strategies for HomeServe USA
Merrie Leininger, 775-846-0664
This Old House
Rebecca Rogalski, 475-209-8629

Three Energy Sector Trends to Watch

Three Energy Sector Trends to Watch

If there is one thing you can predict about the energy industry, it is that the industry is unpredictable. There has been more change in energy sector trends over the past decade than the previous half century.

With American gas and oil production up, renewable energy becoming more practical and affordable and utilities expanding their offering and becoming more than energy providers, the next five years will be interesting ones for the industry.

Production is up – and prices are down

Thanks to unconventional sources of oil and gas, such as the shale fields, American production has exceeded 10 million barrels per day since the last peak, all the way back in 1970. This puts America third in world production, just behind Saudi Arabia at 10.6 million barrels per day and Russia at 11 million per day. By the end of next year, the U.S. could exceed 12 million barrels daily. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Russia have cut back production in an effort to stabilize oil prices.

Imports have dropped from 60 percent of demand to 20 percent, and the U.S. could be a net exporter by 2020 – as it already is for natural gas.

After a brief May surge, oil prices are down to $66 a barrel. Saudi Arabia and Russia have hinted they may drop their self-imposed supply caps as they try to ease concerns about reduced production in Venezuela and Iranian sanctions. At the same time, experts see that $60 to $70 range as the “sweet spot” that benefits both producers and users – good news for the industry.

Renewables energy sector trends continue to grow

The future is bright for renewable energy. Solar panel prices have seen a sustained drop – more than 70 percent since 2009, and small-scale, on-site power sources, or distributed generation systems, have seen a dramatic increase in interest and implementation, especially in the solar energy field, increasing globally by 50 percent in 2016. In addition, solar energy has become so affordable as to be a practical alternative – the cost per watt has come down from $76.67 in 1977 to 60 cents.

Solar energy isn’t the only renewable source that’s seeing a boost in popularity driven by affordability. Strides in turbine technology have reduced the cost of wind energy, allowing utilities to enjoy affordable rates through 20 to 30 year contracts. The costs have dropped from nearly $90/MWh in 2009 to $20/MWh now.

Millennials, who have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation represented in the U.S. workforce, want clean energy –  56 percent say utilizing clean energy sources is important, and 86 percent think the government should establish a plan for energy strategy. Millennials spend their money with companies who demonstrate similar values, and Millennials have been dubbed Green Champions. Environmentally sustainable production plays an increasingly large role in energy sector trends.

An Accenture energy consumer survey shows that 56 percent of Millennials want to incorporate solar panels into their energy sources. Additionally, more than 60 percent will pay for a smart grid to integrate clean energy, with 30 percent identifying environmental benefits as among the most important features of a smart grid.

Forward-looking utilities expand offerings

The idea that utility companies should expand their offerings past simply supplying electricity and natural gas isn’t a new one. For years, industry leaders have known that they must diversify to thrive.

Strategic alliances have been popular energy sector trends since the early days of energy services due to their profitability. Studies have shown customers want information and choice – and when a utility offers customers programs or services in which they can chose to participate, their satisfaction increases. Customer satisfaction and engagement have been shown to increase ROI – and customer trust. Customers want a recommendation from a trusted source, which has led to a proliferation of contractor referral sites.

A partnership with HomeServe USA enables utilities to offer their customers valuable repair plans for electric service line, water heaters and other home systems. HomeServe can provide protection to utility customers who aren’t prepared for an emergency repair and increase customer satisfaction at the same time – at no cost to partner utilities.

To learn more about how a partnership can benefit utilities and their customers, contact us.