Evaluating Smartphone App for Home Energy Use

Navigant assists DTE Energy with customer-centric app design and evaluation, allowing customers to understand their home energy use

Challenge

DTE Energy developed a smartphone application, called DTE Insight, to provide customers with feedback on their home energy use. In order to validate the program offering, DTE needed assistance with customer engagement research and impact evaluations.  

Solution

DTE engaged Navigant to provide a suite of services related to the DTE Insight app, including: 

  • Assistance in the design of the pilot so that customers who request an energy bridge for real-time usage information are randomly assigned as part of a randomized encouragement design
  • Surveying participating and nonparticipating customers to understand the customer journey, identify motivations and barriers to app usage, and assess actions taken as a result of the app
  • Analysis of app usage data to assess engagement with the app, including who uses the app, when (e.g., time of day, month of year), and preferred features
  • Impact evaluations of the app (using quasi-experimental methods) and of the energy bridge to estimate electric and demand savings
  • Assessments of savings, app analytics, and survey results according to Experian Mosaic segmentation data

Impact

Navigant’s ongoing evaluations inform DTE’s design and implementation strategy for the app and provide annual savings estimates for regulatory reporting. 

 

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