E-Bill Home Energy Analysis

Helping utility customers understand the source of their 
energy use.

Worked on @ Opower


Product Manager, Engineers and 
UX Researchers


Improving the email sent from utilities to their customers when a bill is due.


Refined, tested and delivered specs for a home energy analysis module within the email.

What's an E-bill?

Understanding the components of the e-bill communication.

1. Bill Amount

The most important piece of information in the email.

2. Call to Action
Providing a clear path to pay the bill is the most important function of this email. Any supporting information in the e-bill needed to be connected with the main action of paying a bill.

3. Marketing Module
A place for utilities to connect customers with energy saving tips, or cost saving programs relevant to their situation.

4. Feedback
Giving customers an easy way to say whether they found the email helpful.

What’s up with my bill?

How people react to an eBill

Before adding another module to the eBill, I dove into Opower’s UX research archives to get a sense for the thought process of a customer receiving a bill.

Adding the Home Energy Analysis

Tweaking every piece of the home energy analysis to best fit within the eBill communication.

  • Content Strategy

    Since most of the content in the e-bill is text, every piece of information had to be phrased as clearly as possible.

    content strategy
  • Presenting Data

    Exploring ways to present the data contained in a home energy analysis.

    presenting data
  • Understanding Context

    What content will exist around the home energy analysis, and how can they interact in a way that provides value to people?

    surrounding context

Testing the Home Energy Analysis

Working with Opower's UX research team, I contributed to the planning and analysis of a 23 person user testing session.

Testing Insights

People generally skim, not read.
Expecting people to read small text to understand the nuances of the home energy analysis was not a reasonable task to expect people glancing at an email to accomplish.

Don't introduce doubt.
While the home energy analysis is generated from an algorithm that is not perfect, people generally accept the data, unless a word like 'estimate' is used.

Additional info should explain the cost.
People read the e-bill to learn about why their costs are higher or lower than average.

Final Designs

Delivering specs for the first iteration of the home energy analysis.

Home Energy Analysis Elements

1. Title and Insight

Gives readers a quick understanding of the largest category of energy use in their home.

2. Pie Chart
Visually reinforces the insight above while showing the general distribution of energy use.

3. Legend
Allows readers to see the percentage of all their home energy use.

4. Info Text
Based on testing insights, the explanation of how the analysis is created was deemphasized in the hierarchy.

5. Surrounding Elements
Provided recommendations for what type of information paired well with the home energy analysis, as well as directions for future modules to provide even more explanation about the bill.