PG&E: Strategy, User experience
Pacific Gas & Electric, like many public utilities, suffers from customer misperceptions. Many ratepayers reasonably believe utilities are motivated to sell more energy so they can make more money. California environmental legislation penalizes utilities for carbon output and for failing to reduce overall power generation, even in the face of substantial ongoing increases in energy demand.
PG&E actively incentivizes ratepayers to reduce their household energy demand. This is the force behind SmartMeters, rebates on new appliance upgrades, and housing "envelope" improvements like installing insulation, windows, or conducting home energy audits. My partners at ad agency Draftfcb asked me to help PG&E think through the online experience for their seasonal programs so that ratepayer participation is maximized. I was also required to design usable, thoughtfully pathed pages within the confines of a restrictive content management system.
I crafted a strategic approach based on their available content and program registration tools. Then I designed flows and consistent containers for a changing set of seasonal rebates and incentives for energy savings.
While all programs are available to all ratepayers, the designs encourage more affluent ratepayers to undertake a few simple home improvements and appliance replacement while less affluent ratepayers are exposed to alternative rate plans, rebates, and simple inexpensive purchases and habits that reduce overall consumption.
While energy consumption in the state of California is sadly still on the rise, more ratepayers are participating in these programs. Did you know wireframes can reduce individuals' carbon footprint?