Consolidated Edison is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the United States, distributing electricity to some 3.3 million residents and business and natural gas to about 1.1 million customers in New York City.
Mobile has become the go-to devices for consumers. In addition to online shopping, many consumers have turned their mobile devices into portable offices, handling business, making transactions, and managing bills -- all from their mobile phone. For utilities, mobile takes on extra relevance during times of crisis such as extreme weather or natural disasters. That’s when mobile becomes a direct lifeline and means of communication between customers and their utility provider. ConEd needed to find a way to stay connected to their customers and provide an efficient way to deliver fast, up-to-the-minute information.
ConEdison partnered with Usablenet to create one of the first mobile sites for utilities customers. The site focused on optimizing the most popular tasks for their on-the-go customers, offering quick access to report an electric problem or outage as well as the ability to log into their account and pay their utility bill. Within the first year, Con Ed’s mobile website had over 148,000 visitors. By 2012, the site had attracted over 2 million visitors. In April 2012, Usablenet and ConEdison launched a redesign of the website and included a wealth of customer options such as usage, access to outage status maps, bill pay options and a click-to-call feature to quickly connect with ConEd. That year the site saw 88,000 payments online and 1,321,763 visits.
In 2013, ConEdison launched apps for both iOS and Android as well as a UX refresh of the mobile website. In addition to core functionality, the apps support meter reading. In the first six months since launch there have been over 19,000 downloads from the Apps Store and Google Play. Additional mobile initiatives include the development of a mobile Storm Center and a new tablet app.
During Super Storm Sandy in the fall of 2012, ConEdison’s mobile site experienced a 1200% spike in traffic and a 40% increase in page views. Today, over 23% of overall traffic to ConEd.com comes from mobile devices, and page views are up about 68% from last year (factoring out the surge of traffic from Super Storm Sandy.) Phone system payments also continue to dwindle as more and more ConEdison customers adopt mobile payment.