Energy & Utilities, Products & Experience Lab
A regional electric utility company strives to be an environmental leader within the industry and works cooperatively to increase the use of clean and renewable energy.
One particular area of focus is vehicle electrification, both across the state it serves and within its own fleet. Today, about 40,000 vehicles in the utility’s territory are electric, and it knows there’s more work to do to encourage EV adoption. That’s when it turned to West Monroe.
Our Digital Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) platform has allowed the utility to reach and engage customers across its service area—rapidly, and with minimal technical support. Thousands of customers have already calculated the benefits—and the utility is adding up the potential impact.
commercial customer visitors who have used the EV calculator since its launch
average CO2 emissions reduction potential (in tons) per customer
average lifetime savings per commercial customer vehicle fleet
The utility wanted to increase the number of commercial and residential customers that convert from gas or diesel vehicles to electric vehicles. This is important for achieving the company’s and state’s goals for decarbonization and for improving air quality across their territory. Electrification also allows the utility to operate its grid more efficiently—for example, by using its EV programs to align electric EV fueling at times of excess grid capacity or low usage—something that benefits all utility customers.
The utility previously relied on live events, email, and phone calls to engage and educate customers about the benefits of EV adoption. The utility wanted a much more efficient and responsive digital capability for interacting with customers across its large service area. Products available on the market required extensive vendor support for customization and ongoing changes. But the utility discovered a unique offering that would be faster, easier, and less costly to deploy: West Monroe’s Digital TCO platform for EVs.
We’ve been preparing for this need for years through our work with utilities. Initially, we created an economic model for utilities to help customers understand the cost benefits of EV conversion. We then digitized the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model so that more utilities and their customers could benefit from it.
Unlike other solutions, our user-friendly, no-code digital TCO platform is easy to update, configure, and integrate with existing web and mobile channels. It’s also adaptable to a variety of commercial and consumer EV programs, as well as other applications including building electrification, off-road vehicles, and battery systems.
That meant we were ready to help the utility introduce the digital communication capabilities it wanted—in weeks instead of months.
First, we met with stakeholders from transportation electrification, marketing, and technology to understand needs and operations. We collected information—about vehicle types, tariff/rate structures, incentives and rebates, EV chargers, feedback on the website user interface, and branding guidelines.
We then proceeded down two simultaneous paths. One team customized our Digital TCO economic model for the utility’s specific data and EV program offerings. The other team designed and implemented the web and mobile user interfaces, branding, and functionality.
Finally, we tested the system, trained the utility’s team to use and manage the solution, and guided them through the launch. We also provided an administrative console that the utility’s team can use to edit key parameters and content going forward such as changing rebates, evolving tariffs, and shifting fuel prices.
Launch of the utility’s Digital EV TCO tool generated significant buzz among employees and customers, positioning the utility as both an EV leader and a digital innovator.
The utility can demonstrate the tremendous cost savings of going electric to its customers, supporting its goals to influence EV adoption in its territory. To date, more than 2,000 commercial customers have used the site to model savings scenarios. Based on the data entered, these customers collectively have the potential to save 12 million tons of greenhouse gas CO2 emissions should they adopt the EVs they defined in their scenarios on the website.
Based on the initial success of using the platform targeting commercial fleet owners, the utility has added a second Digital EV calculator for residential customers.
Better yet, the utility EV team has been able to keep the site data up-to-date as the market and regulatory policy changes—making edits in seconds rather than waiting days for vendor or IT support.
The utility now has increased its deployment of effective, easily accessible, web-based and mobile customer education and engagement capabilities for influencing EV adoption, replacing previous phone-based and email-based contact processes. It can reach many thousands more customers at a far lower cost and in a manner preferred by a majority of those customers.
When the site went live, there was a high level of excitement—within our team and from our customers.