24 May 2012, 11:46
The Green Deal opens up new opportunities for the industry to drive revenue streams and work towards meeting the UK's carbon reduction targets. However knowing when and more importantly where to target marketing and deployment efforts is a challenge. With so much information on suitable buildings, sites and target populations to consider, painting a clear picture of the homes most likely to sign-up and benefit from the Green Deal can be difficult.
Geographic information (GIS) to bring all the data together is one tool the industry can use to identify the most suitable homes for the Green Deal. Geo-targeting is not only effective in spotting the right homes, but also managing the survey, installation and follow-up processes by grouping clusters of suitable homes together in manageable zones.
To make the Green Deal a success, the industry must work closely with local authorities to pool the data they hold about customers, buildings and suitable areas to conduct a targeted approach which will reap all the benefits the incentive has to offer.
Eighty per cent of business decisions have some sort of spatial or geographical context, so tapping into this dimension using GIS to analyse, interpret and visualise all of the relevant data required to make decisions on one screen can create a powerful tool. Sharing this visual tool with all stakeholders allows all parties including energy retailers, suppliers, installers and local authorities to work collaboratively, boosting the chance of success.
GIS therefore can play a key role in enabling the industry to understand which households and types of homes will benefit most from the Green Deal, and which are most likely to adopt the Green Deal. By examining all of the relevant data on customers including debt, geographic features and operational data, organisations can build an effective scoring system to rank the most likely candidates for the Green Deal.
Using socio-demographic information, such as consumer green preferences, incomes and household makeup as well as built environment data such as property age, type and area, provides a complete picture of suitable Green Deal homes and customers. Aspects such as property age are a strong indicator of the adequacy of the insulation, and knowing the ideal elevation and area of the roof can point to suitable solar sites.
Keeping to 'the golden rule', which requires the savings generated by an energy efficient measure to exceed the cost of implementation, is absolutely vital when selecting the best clusters of homes to target. According to our research, this segment is about 13 per cent of the UK population, highlighting the importance of minimising wasted resources by targeting unsuitable buildings and consumers. Cross-referencing data on customers with geographic information focuses efforts, maximising the chances of profitability and customer satisfaction for any Green Deal deployment.
There is a widespread lack of consumer understanding for the Green Deal. The majority of people are not aware of the benefits of the scheme or do not understand exactly how it works. Having a clear picture of which clusters will benefit the most is the obvious first step, but communicating how the Green Deal will benefit those homeowners specifically and how it will work in action is the more vital second stage.
To do this effectively, industry professionals must be able to showcase the value, in financial terms, to homeowners. The ability to explain exactly how households can reap the benefits and what types of returns they can expect will greatly increase the likelihood of adoption, without spending resources on marketing to households unlikely to adopt or benefit from the scheme.
Managing site visit scheduling is another key benefit of GIS. Approaching marketing and deployments for the Green Deal with geography in mind can provide a significant competitive advantage. Knowing which areas are a good fit for the scheme means organisations can schedule activity to happen all in one day, making the best use of resources and avoiding unnecessary time spent travelling to various sites. This applies to aspects such as marketing, home visits, assessments and implementations.
Many energy providers and retailers use advanced analytical methods to segment customers to discover the homeowners most likely to adopt the Green Deal. However, few use geography to ensure the home is suitable and identify clusters of homes to tackle the task more efficiently. Local authorities simply do not have access to the same crucial customer intelligence or analytics that the big energy retailers have access to, but they do hold other vital data. So it's important for both the industry and local authorities to work together to make the Green Deal a success using GIS as the glue that can bring all this data together.
The Green Deal can provide significant financial benefits to UK households. At the same time, the scheme also has an important role to play in helping to create local jobs and improve profitability for the entire industry including utility retailers, contractors and suppliers, while of course reducing carbon emissions. But to be successful, the industry must work together to become not only data savvy, but also geography savvy by using information to identify the most profitable installations. This approach is a powerful combination of intelligence that ensures the UK can take advantage of all that the Green Deal has to offer.
Esri UK provides geographic information systems (GIS) that let organisations and businesses visualise, question, analyse, interpret and understand data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns and trends, helping to power millions of decisions, every day.
This sponsored content was provided by Esri UK.
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