Nicor Gas Wins Awards for Leading in Energy Efficiency, Helping Consumers Save Energy
CHICAGO – Nicor Gas received three Inspiring Efficiency Awards from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) during the 2015 Midwest Energy Solutions (MES) Conference at the Chicago Hilton and Towers. The awards include:
Inspiring Efficiency Leadership to Jim Jerozal, Managing Director of Energy Efficiency
Inspiring Efficiency Marketing for its Customer Journey Strategy
Inspiring Efficiency Education for its “What’s in the Box?” campaign
2015 Inspiring Efficiency Leadership Award – Jim Jerozal
In 2010, Jim Jerozal began managing the energy efficiency program at Nicor Gas. Under Jim’s direction, Nicor Gas’ Energy Efficiency Program saved 37 million net therms last year, providing more savings than any other natural gas program in the country. He developed, implemented, and refined a comprehensive portfolio of program offerings, with a team of only two, in that first year. Jim’s energy efficiency team grew to 38 people and shattered their goal by more than 10 million therms through 2014.
“We had to take some risks, make smart decisions, think like a startup, and adjust rapidly, explains Jim. “That’s why it is so important to build a team, form partnerships, collaborate, and stay on the same page with everyone all the time.”
Collaboration between utility companies is rare; however five of Nicor Gas’ programs are integrated with ComEd to make energy efficiency as streamlined and accessible for customers as possible. Nicor Gas invested more than $165 million to implement 13 energy efficiency programs over the course of three years. The investment in these programs will help customers save 670 million therms over the life of the installed measures.
“To put this in perspective,” says Randy Gunn, Managing Director, Navigant Consulting, “These savings lower annual carbon emissions by amounts equivalent to removing 50,000 cars from the road in one year, eliminating household emissions for a city the size of St. Charles, Illinois, or planting six million trees.”
2015 Inspiring Efficiency Marketing Award – Customer Journey Strategy
The Customer Journey Strategy is the first energy efficiency campaign in the Midwest to combine lessons learned from mapping customer experiences with best practices in outreach, marketing, and communications to make energy efficiency easy to understand. Nicor Gas worked to identify “pain points” and barriers to participation, and remove them. Nicor Gas also shared real customer stories throughout mass marketing channels that resulted in a significant increase in customer engagement.
“I think the most inspiring thing about the Customer Journey Strategy was understanding energy efficiency from the customer’s perspective,” said Meena Beyers, Director of Marketing and Communications for energy efficiency at Nicor Gas. “If we take the time to understand the way our customers interact with us, we can make a much bigger impact in helping them control energy use.”
2015 Inspiring Efficiency Education Award – What’s in the Box?
Nicor Gas created the “What’s in the Box?” campaign to simplify the sometimes complicated topic of energy efficiency for homeowners. It highlighted the benefits of making high-efficiency upgrades, and ways to take advantage of available rebates using infographics, an animated video, and an online quiz. Customers who completed the quiz received a free Nicor Gas energy savings kit. An impressive 90 percent of viewers watched the “What’s in the Box?” video. Of those viewers, 45 percent completed the quiz. Nicor Gas’ program attracted more than 20,000 unique visitors to its website.
“Partnering with trade allies was essential to the success of the ‘What’s in the Box?’ campaign,” said Beyers. “They have a clear understanding of the market, are extremely knowledgeable about customers and their perspectives, and provide technical insight.”
Participation in Nicor Gas’ home rebate program more than doubled when compared to the same time period the year before. Furnace rebate applications alone increased 137 percent. More than 1,768,000 gross therms of natural gas were saved from new furnace installations.
“Nicor Gas’ multifaceted program portfolio offers savings accessible to all customers, encourages collaboration, fosters new technology, and seamlessly embeds energy efficiency into everyday practices,” said Stacey Paradis, MEEA interim executive director. “MEEA is proud to recognize Jim Jerozal for his exceptional management of Nicor Gas’ Energy Efficiency Program, as well as its Customer Journey Strategy and ‘What’s in the Box?’ campaign, which encouraged customer engagement unseen by other educational efforts.”
Presented annually at the MES Conference (www.meeaconference.org), MEEA’s Inspiring Efficiency Awards recognize Midwest leaders who deliver groundbreaking advancements in energy efficiency in five categories: Leadership, Education, Impact, Marketing and Innovation.
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About Midwest Energy Solutions Conference
The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. Each year it brings together a broad range of private- and public-sector thought leaders from around the nation who share a vested interest in energy efficiency. Now in its 13th year, the conference continues to grow as energy efficiency investment across the Midwest increases.
The conference is presented by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), the region’s source on energy efficiency. Formed in 2000, MEEA is committed to advancing sound energy efficiency programs, policies and priorities in the Midwest. MEEA’s membership represents a broad consortium of energy stakeholders from across a 13-state area. www.mwalliance.org
About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), is a natural gas distribution company that serves more than 2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the City of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.com.
About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services and midstream operations. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves approximately 630,000 retail energy customers and approximately 1.2 million customer service contracts through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. AGL Resources is a member of the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.