Active Efficiency in Action

The best way to understand the value of Active Efficiency is to see it in action. There are many examples that demonstrate the potential of Active Efficiency. Between the economic, social, and environmental benefits, the hard work that goes into making these examples successful is something to be celebrated.

Innovating The Path For Inclusive Access to Efficiency Technologies


To fully enjoy the benefits of Active Efficiency – using digital technology to optimize energy use – consumers need to have access to the energy efficiency technologies that help to better manage household energy consumption. While many utilities offer programs that help lower upfront costs for these devices, reaching low-to-moderate customers can be a challenge: these customers often don’t know the offers apply to them, especially if they are renters or live in multifamily homes.

In November 2020, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) partnered with Uplight to add a “Giveaway Hub” to its online marketplace. This hub allows utilities to offer specific customers (e.g., low to moderate income customers) energy efficiency-related products – from LED lightbulbs to advanced power strips to smart thermostats – free of charge. SMUD provided free ENERGY STAR-certified holiday lights to customers who were enrolled in the utility’s energy assistance program. By targeting the giveaway to the families who needed it most – and making it free and easy to participate in – the program worked: SMUD reached 2,300 low-to-moderate income customers less than 48 hours after the promotion was launched.

Reducing the energy burden experienced by low-income households is a core goal of Active Efficiency. Innovative programs like the Giveaway Hub can be replicated to ease access to Active Efficiency tools and technologies to ensure no customers are left behind in the energy transition.