SAS helps Origin Energy achieve a ‘predictable’ outcome for their customers

A better understanding of their customers’ energy requirements, achieved with the help of SAS, has enabled Origin Energy to offer an Australian first – a customised fixed-price plan.

Origin provides natural gas and electricity products and has more than 4.2 million customers.

One of the biggest challenges for energy providers is being able to predict customer demand. Energy demand is notoriously difficult to predict, especially with Australia’s varying weather conditions and the market shift towards more energy-efficient and renewal energy solutions such as LED lighting, solar panels and battery storage.

Origin turned to SAS for assistance with predicting customers’ usage and implemented SAS Energy Forecasting.

Understanding and being able to forecast changing energy demand patterns is a key input into Origin’s wholesale portfolio strategy which enables Origin to achieve a balance between wholesale electricity markets and generation fuels to deliver a competitive cost of energy. It also helps to support decision making on where to invest in order to meet future customer demands.

 

In a market that is low in differentiation, Predictable Plan is providing Origin with that point of difference in consumers’ minds.

Gretchen Fox
Origin’s Group Manager
Enterprise Brand and Marketing

 

 

Greater confidence from improved forecasting

Energy Forecasting was instrumental in Origin’s Predictable Plan product, which provides a tailored fixed monthly (or fortnightly) energy price to customers for 12 months.

Gretchen Fox, Origin’s Group Manager, Enterprise Brand and Marketing, says the traditional model of sending customers a quarterly bill, which can vary significantly each time, and is paid in arrears, has meant energy is often viewed as a “grudge” purchase.

“To help counter this and to build customer loyalty, Origin launched Predictable Plan, which lets Origin customers pay the same amount for their electricity no matter how much they use,” she says. “It aims to eliminate bill shock and helps consumers with their budgeting, as they know in advance what they will be paying.”

SAS solution key to product success

Predictable Plan would not have been possible without the help of SAS Energy Forecasting and the sophisticated data analysis software SAS provides, says Fox.

“SAS helped us increase our understanding of when, where and how our customers use their energy,” she says. “This gave us the confidence to predict how they would continue to use or alter their usage. We can therefore quantify the risk and price it accordingly.”

Fox says before Origin had access to this improved maturity and granularity around its data, it wouldn’t have been able to segment customers in a way where it could match the right offer to them.

“Predicable Plan has been well received by our customers, cementing our belief that product and service innovation and capturing first-mover value, is a key way to build loyalty and trust,” Fox says.

The new service is also helping Origin differentiate itself from other energy providers. “In a market that is low in differentiation, Predictable Plan is providing Origin with that point of difference in consumers’ minds,” Fox says.

This differentiation is important and also aligns with Origin’s customer-centric strategy.

“Our objectives include developing an even closer focus on our customers, building loyalty and trust as well as delivering differentiated products, such as Predictable Plan,” Fox says. “Analytics is critical for us as we continue to provide new products and achieve our customer-centric goals.”

Origin’s General Manager, Energy Risk Management, Tony Lucas, says following the implementation, the organisation had greater confidence in forecasting the drivers of electricity and gas demand: “Better forecasting is an enabler to other business goals of better decision-making in generation, better trading operations and better insight to customer behaviour.”

origin-logo

Industry

Utilities

Issue

Origin wanted to predict its customers’ energy usage so it could offer products that differentiated it from its competitors.

Solution

SAS® Energy Forecasting

Benefits

Origin is now able to predict with a high level of accuracy when, where and how its customers use their energy. This enabled them to offer Australia’s first customised fixed price energy plan.

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The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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