A Case Study from CLEAResult & Liberty Utilities

While coverage of COVID-19 continues to dominate the daily news cycle, new information on the economic challenges facing utilities and their customers continues to emerge. In times like these, many companies are finding ways—big and small—to help those in need. Liberty Utilities of California is one such company, seeking to support the communities they serve with safe and reliable electric service delivered with care, integrity and compassion.

CLEAResult has supported Liberty Utilities through the design and implementation of commercial and residential energy programs. When Liberty Utilities asked us to create an online rate assistance intake portal for customers whose income has been impacted by COVID-19, we at CLEAResult knew right away that Clean Power Research’s PowerClerk® was up to the task. CLEAResult has long been familiar with the power and flexibility offered by PowerClerk—we’ve used it to launch solar, EV and storage instances for numerous utilities across North America.

CLEAResult knew PowerClerk was already being used to automate DER applications at Liberty, and it could easily be leveraged to meet Liberty’s needs using a new feature in PowerClerk called VersaForms™. VersaForms—combined with the free use offer for utility partners’ COVID-19 related efforts—made PowerClerk an ideal solution, in addition to the existing COVID-related templates CLEAResult provides.

Requirements for quick launch of Liberty’s COVID-19 relief program

PowerClerk perfectly met the requirements for Liberty’s new intake portal, which included:

  1. Quick launch time — The new application forms could be built, tested, and launched within one (1) business week.
  2. Replication of existing fillable PDF — Simple configuration to match previously approved legal language and required fields. This was a critical requirement because legal review of customer-facing content can extend project timelines for utilities.
  3. Bilingual — Customers could choose between Spanish or English.
  4. Requisite ‘no login’ experience for applicants — Enable a button link to the application that customers could complete without a lengthy or complicated account registration process. This was crucial because Liberty wanted to provide a simple application process for those impacted by the pandemic.

“PowerClerk allowed us to rapidly develop and deploy an online rate assistance intake portal for Liberty’s customers affected by COVID-19 without having to write new code or develop processes from scratch,” said CLEAResult Senior Director, David Lewis. “PowerClerk was the ideal solution that enabled us to meet Liberty’s needs rapidly and ensure they could offer their customers a simple solution in a matter of days as opposed to weeks or months.” The result for Liberty Utilities was a professional and customer-friendly solution that will serve their needs (and their customer’s needs) for the long term.

Leveraging PowerClerk for DER workflows and beyond

Beyond the benefits of the intake portal, utilities and state agencies are now seeing PowerClerk’s value as an application management platform beyond DER workflows. In Liberty’s case, a simple, custom application form was created in both English and Spanish, ensuring that all applications were reviewed using the same standards. This can be replicated for any customer program that requires data input and workflow.

PowerClerk’s reporting features enable managers to easily review application activity, time required for review and acceptance rates. And in support of current work from home scenarios, PowerClerk application reviews can be conducted by any remote employee with internet access. Accessing PowerClerk is straightforward and flexible, while simultaneously ensuring data security.

Through their efforts, Liberty has shown that small changes to internal process can make a real difference in customers’ daily lives. As Liberty’s Marketing and Communications Senior Manager Alison Vai stated, “We know some of our customers are facing challenging times right now, and the new online rate assistance portal is one small way we’re trying to help them cope with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. We greatly appreciated CLEAResult’s rapid deployment of the new portal, and we’re already seeing customers utilize it. PowerClerk is a solution we’ll leverage more in the future, and we’re excited to identify new ways to streamline internal processes.”

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About our guest author

Image of man in a blue shirt smiling - Matt Newberry of CLEAResult - COVID-19 Relief Program

Matt Newberry, is a Senior Manager for CLEAResult and has worked in renewables and interconnection program delivery since 2011. He has extensive experience developing and deploying PowerClerk for Liberty Utilities and eight other electric utilities for renewable, energy storage and electric vehicle programs.