T&D World Magazine

Black Hills Expands Utility Websites with APOGEE Suite

Black Hills Corporation, a growing integrated energy company in the western region, has more than tripled the energy efficiency information on its utility websites with the addition of APOGEE Interactive’s HomeEnergySuite.

Black Hills Power and Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power customers now have access to a full lineup of easy-to-use, energy-saving tools from their utility’s home page. The APOGEE residential energy suite includes a home energy use calculator, appliance and lighting calculators, an interactive energy saving home, a complete energy efficiency knowledge center, and an entertaining “Kids Korner” to promote energy learning.

“Energy conservation has always been a part of our dialogue with customers, but it’s of more interest today as we continue to see energy costs rise across the country,” said Mutch Usera, director of retail marketing, for Black Hills Corp.. “Putting Web-based tools in the hands of our customers helps give them more insight into their energy decisions and more control over their energy use.”

The primary tool in the HomeEnergySuite is the HomeEnergyCalculator. Black Hills Corp. customers can obtain a quick estimate of their homes' energy efficiency and costs by answering a few questions prompted online. Within seconds the calculator draws on local weather data, current energy prices and APOGEE's proprietary energy analysis system to produce a graphical summary. These results are also compared with APOGEE's extensive residential energy database to generate specific recommendations for improving energy efficiency in the home.

Customers can investigate further using the appliance and lighting calculators and by clicking on the rooms in the interactive house to reveal energy efficiency tips and information for that section of the home.

“We’re pleased to offer the APOGEE suite to our customers because we know it’s powered by solid analytical programming yet it’s still easy and fun to use by our customers,” said Usera. Black Hills joins the more than 300 utilities nationwide offering APOGEE’s industry-proven applications such as the HomeEnergyCalculator, CommericalEnergyCalculator, InteractiveEnergyHome, BillingInsights, Kids Korner and others.

"Utilities who work hard to educate their customers on wise energy use routinely achieve higher satisfaction among their customers,” said Susan Gilbert, president of APOGEE Interactive. “Web-based tools are an indispensable component in today’s consumer education process."

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