This project aims to understand how customers can be used to reshape Distributed Energy Resources (DER) orchestration program design to increase participation.
The rise of residential solar has brought enormous benefits to households and the broader transition to a cleaner electricity system. It has also brought challenges to how the electricity grid and market operate – particularly with voltage challenges that can occur within a network when too much solar energy is exported back to the grid.
Key industry stakeholders have tried to solve these challenges by reducing financial incentives or with firm control measures (turning systems off completely).
Residential batteries present an alternative solution. Not only do they increase the value households can receive from their solar system, they also provide greater financial, environmental, and broader community benefits when part of orchestration programs. Unfortunately, both the uptake of batteries and participating in orchestration programs has been lower than predicted. This is problematic, as lower participation in orchestration programs means that households are not getting exposure to the true value potential a battery could bring.
The project will develop a step by step framework on how a deeper understanding of customer values, motivations and cognitive processes can be used to reshape the design, engagement, communication and presentation of DER orchestration programs.
Delivered over three phases, the project will blend existing energy customer insights with behavioural science frameworks to define a set of customer segments who have already installed solar. These customer segments will then be used to guide the design of DER orchestration programs that align with the values and motivations of each segment.
Building on UPowr’s existing solar and battery platform in Phase 2, the project will integrate the elements of each DER orchestration program to enable individual customers to request a battery quote that shows the personalised value of the aligned DER orchestration program.
Following this, the project will test the effectiveness of the customer- focused design approach in the market. The project will develop customer segment specific engagement strategies to explore the effectiveness of how value aligned messaging and engagement.
The goal of the project is to demonstrate that customer-focused design can increase the interest of customers to participate in DER orchestration programs at the point of battery sale.
By developing improved methods for attracting customers to participate in orchestration programs, the project aims to help increase the commercial value customers receive from their DER. This outcome has the potential effect of attracting greater uptake of orchestrated batteries throughout the electricity grid, which will ensure solar households are able to generate value without threatening the stability of the electricity system.
Each element of the approach used in this project will be incorporated into a Framework for the broader industry in order to replicate similar approaches. The findings of the project will be made publicly available in the form of three key reports.
In addition to sharing the overarching Customer-Focused Design Framework, the project will hold quarterly industry webinars and convene an Industry Knowledge Sharing Group to ensure that the project findings are given to stakeholders who can utilise them in a way that ensures greater uptake of orchestrated DER throughout the electricity grid.