VAUGHAN, Ontario, March 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PowerStream has recently introduced several new energy management tools and updated features to "My Account Info", its secure, online customer account portal, including one which will allow customers to compare their electricity use to others.
Since there would be privacy implications with any direct account comparisons, PowerStream has implemented a "social benchmarking" tool which enables customers to compare their own usage to the average consumption of an aggregate of similar account type customers within their neighbourhood. In other words, through the use of the "Compare My Usage to My Area" feature, PowerStream customers can see how their electricity bills stack up against a combination of similar customer accounts within their neighbourhood.
The use of social benchmarking to help promote conservation is a relatively new concept with studies in the United States and British Columbia showing that people respond positively to conservation initiatives once they know how they rank compared to others. PowerStream is one of the first utilities in Ontario to offer this feature to their customers.
Other enhancements and upgrades to PowerStream's "My Account Info" online customer account portal include improvements to the overall layout and registration process, and the addition of new features to help demonstrate electricity usage and patterns. Customers can now see their consumption depicted in a number of ways including enhanced bar graphs and pie charts. Electricity usage history is now also displayed in chart and table formats on the same page. The pie charts display Time-of-Use (TOU) consumption by period and by percentage giving customers a clearer understanding of when they consume their electricity.
To date over 65,000 PowerStream customers have enrolled in "My Account Info". This can be done by visiting www.PowerStream.ca and clicking on Create an online account login.
- "PowerStream prides itself on being an industry leader in customer service and conservation," said Frank Scarpitti, PowerStream Board Chair and Mayor of the City of Markham. "We added these new web-enabled features to enhance our customers' online experience and to offer even more tools to encourage energy conservation."
- The use of web technology as a means of facilitating and providing social benchmarking data is proving to be extremely useful to many industries and businesses," explained John Glicksman, Executive Vice President and CFO, PowerStream. "We believe many other utilities in Ontario will soon follow our lead and begin to offer something similar to their customers through their own websites."
- PowerStream first offered its customers an online account portal shortly after the company was created on June 1, 2004.
- The Ontario Ministry of Energy, in partnership with MaRS Discovery District, is currently working with several Ontario utilities on a "Green Button" initiative that will help to establish common data standards and platforms as an avenue to provide more choice and control to Ontario energy consumers.
PowerStream is a community-owned energy services company providing power and related solutions to more than 355,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the municipalities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.
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CATEGORIES – Community, Conservation, Smart Grid
KEYWORDS – Social Benchmarking, Electricity, Conservation, PowerStream