T&D World Magazine

Westar Energy Implements Online Energy Initiative

Westar Energy, the largest electric utility in Kansas, has selected Apogee Interactive’s Web-based EnergySuites to provide its customers with more in-depth energy efficiency information and greater control over their energy use at home or in business.

Apogee’s HomeEnergySuite and CommercialEnergySuite form the cornerstone of Westar’s new online energy efficiency tools for customers: accurate energy-use calculators, comprehensive energy efficiency libraries and customized conservation tips available 24/7 on Westar’s Website.

Westar joins the more than 200 utilities nationwide offering Apogee’s HomeEnergyCalculator, CommercialEnergyCalculator, InteractiveEnergyHome and other online applications. Beginning with select data points provided by the customer, the calculators draw upon Apogee's proprietary energy analysis system, local weather data and Westar energy prices to produce a quick and accurate view of the facility’s energy consumption and costs. These results are then compared with Apogee’s residential and commercial energy database to generate specific recommendations for improving energy efficiency.

“The volatility of fuel prices over the past year has heightened our customers’ awareness of energy costs in general. We want to place powerful tools in their hands now to help them in achieving greater energy efficiency in their homes and in their businesses,” said Jim Ludwig, Westar Energy vice president, regulatory and public affairs. “We all have a responsibility to better manage and conserve our energy resources.”

Westar, which serves more than 660,000 customers throughout east and east-central Kansas, chose Apogee’s suite of online tools based on its key requirements for proven Internet applications with solid analytics, easy-to-use formats, easy-to-read summaries and tips for customers, and overall comprehensiveness and cost effectiveness.

“More and more customers are looking to perform ‘self-service’ online -- at their convenience and on their time schedule. In addition, a phone call often isn’t the most effective medium for a customized analysis of energy use,” said Susan Gilbert, president of Apogee. “With online self-service, everyone wins. Customers are more satisfied by having the answers they need when they need and want them, and utilities save money through decreased transaction costs.”

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