Ameren Missouri has been offering energy efficiency programs to its customers since 2009. Opinion Dynamics is leading the annual evaluation of Ameren Missouri’s portfolio of 15 energy efficiency programs across Ameren’s residential, low-income, and non-residential sectors as well as two demand response programs targeting residential and commercial customers. Opinion Dynamics also serves in an advisory capacity, offering program planning, implementation support and guidance in collaboration with the program implementation teams. Additionally, Opinion Dynamics facilitates an active statewide stakeholder process that includes regulatory and other governmental staff, an independent statewide auditor, and a range of interest groups.

Opinion Dynamics provides Ameren Missouri with comprehensive portfolio support, essential to the ongoing success of their long-standing energy efficiency programs. Through a variety of program evaluation, market research, and program support activities, we ensure Ameren Missouri has timely, accurate, and meaningful data for all 15 individual programs in its energy efficiency portfolio—never losing focus on the overall portfolio goals, ensuring the programs work together without redundancy. A sampling of essential components to our advisory and comprehensive portfolio support include annual program evaluation, demand response portfolio evaluation, and COVID-19 market research.

Annual program evaluation. Key activities include annual EM&V planning and the execution of the planned activities, including primary survey and onsite research, secondary research, engineering and quantitative data analysis, and reporting. The first evaluation included a comprehensive assessment of program processes and gross and net impacts for the full portfolio of programs. In subsequent years, we have and continue to adapt the evaluation activities to reflect changing program and market information needs.

COVID-19 market research. The flexibility inherent in our research and evaluation approach allowed us to nimbly and seamlessly shift focus in the summer of 2020, to conduct primary research with program trade allies, program participants, and the general population in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently,  we were able to provide Ameren Missouri with real-time information on expected impacts of COVID-19 on program performance and potential ways to mitigate adverse impacts.

Demand Response portfolio evaluation. As Ameren Missouri launched a new portfolio of DR programs in 2018, our team provided support in terms of program design advising, impact, and process evaluation activities. In particular, we provided guidance and evaluation services for the launch of an Online Marketplace and BYOD channel for a residential smart thermostat program as well as their greenfield commercial DR aggregator program. These efforts have helped Ameren Missouri to successfully expand offerings, navigate challenges associated with COVID-19 participation and load curves, and provide insights into bidding into MISO markets.

As a matrix organization, we are able to provide Ameren Missouri a customized team built around the evolving needs of their portfolio as a whole along with each individual program within it. Opinion Dynamics’ ability to maintain a high-level, long-term view, without losing sight of the individual components has and continues to support Ameren Missouri through the evolving energy landscape as well as unexpected and unprecedented events, such as the COVID-19 global pandemic.