Case Study: Union Gas | Ontario, Canada

Ontario Utility Company Uses Visual Heat Loss Data to Unlock Customer Interest in Energy Efficiency Programs

Heat Loss Maps | Marketing

Ontario Utility Company Uses Visual Heat Loss Data to Unlock Customer Interest in Energy Efficiency Programs

A graphic depicting the logos of Union Gas and MyHEAT

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Quick Stats

  • Homeowners are more engaged when they can see their home heat loss that causes high energy bills.
  • The direct mailer response was 2x the industry average for efficiency programming participation
  • The social media response rate (via Facebook ads under postal code restrictions) was 7x the industry average
  • The click-through rate was 16x the industry average to the Union Gas website

The Challenge

With a growing need for increased participation in residential energy efficiency programs, Union Gas (now a part of Enbridge Gas) sought an innovative way to boost engagement via their direct mail and social media channels.

The Approach

Union Gas partnered with MyHEAT to collect thermal data for 17,000 homes in Hamilton, Ontario. The goal of the pilot was to engage customers using MyHEAT’s home Heat Loss Maps and motivate participation in energy efficiency programs using social comparison techniques.

Homeowners within specific postal code areas were informed of the program through direct mailers and Facebook ads that prompted them to visit the MyHEAT platform to find and view their homes.

A graphic showing a generic person and icons for letters and facebook
Customers in specific neighbourhoods were reached through targeted marketing
A graphic of a heat loss map layered above the rooftop of a house
Aerial thermal images allowed homeowners to see where their homes lose heat

When a resident accessed their home profile, they were shown a personalized MyHEAT HEAT Map that visually identified specific areas of heat loss in their home. Their home was also given a HEAT Rating that measured how it compared to others in the same neighbourhood and city.

A red to blue thermal heat loss map and scale for heat loss
An example of a HEAT Map showing the thermal image of a home. Red shows areas where more heat loss may be occurring.
a graphic depicting a Heat Loss Rating of 8, compared to ratings of similar homes nearby
An example of a HEAT Rating where a home's heat loss is compared to others on a scale from 1-10. The higher the score, the more heat loss is likely to occur.

After viewing their HEAT Maps, engaged customers looking to prevent heat loss, reduce their energy usage, and save money were directed to energy efficiency incentive programs offered through Union Gas. All activity and conversion rates were tracked through Google Analytics so that Union Gas could see exactly how customers were engaging with and taking action through the platform.

The Results

The partnership with MyHEAT enabled Union Gas to drive a 10.5% response rate (1,800 homes), which surpassed the target of 6.5%, (1,127 homes).

This pilot program also generated significant interest outside of the pilot area, with users searching for approximately 700 additional homes. Though these additional homes were not available for the pilot program, users were still prompted to explore Union Gas energy efficiency programs with calls-to-action that resulted in a 39% click-through rate, 16 times higher than the industry average.

An icon that says 2X and a letter icon
Mailer response was two times the industry average
An icon that says 7x and a Facebook icon
Facebook response was seven times the industry average
An icon that says 16x and an icon of a laptop with a web page visible
Click-through rate was 16 times the industry average to Union Gas website

Improve energy efficiency program results with compelling and comparable visual heat loss and solar potential insights, at city-scale.

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