Encouraging Energy Efficiency in Chicago

Franklin Energy

Franklin Energy is a national company that implements energy efficiency (EE) programs for gas and electric utilities. They design, market, and deliver these programs by working directly with end consumers. Their customer sector is made up of Small Businesses, Multi-family buildings, and Residential, Commercial & Industrial Buildings.

The Problem

Our team defined the multi-family sector to be our focus. This sector comprised of various key players in the market, namely the resident(s), landlords, property managers, contractors, vendors and distributors who are all affected by their EE program.

To respect the privacy of my client, I have refrained from sharing my team’s full deliverables. If you’re curious to find out more about this project, please contact me.

The Process

At the beginning of this project, we defined our problem area as a team. Then we did user interviews with multi-family home residents, landlords, and contractors to understand individual perceptions on EE programs, and energy in general. About a third of the way through the project, we pivoted from our initial problem scope (which was to improve EE by residents) to improve landlord and property manager adoption of EE programs.

More in-depth research was conducted with our key stakeholders before we moved into the ideation phase where we generated multiple ideas that incorporated new technologies outside the client’s current portfolio. A prototype was then created and tested before presenting the final solution to the client.

The Solution

We presented the client with a tool for their contractors (called trade allies) that allowed them to build, culture and maintain relationships with their respective customers. It incorporated IOT technology, and also created convenience for the key users to learn about and adopt energy efficiency programs.