Digitise to Decarbonise!

Author: Zef Fugaz. Originally published Jan 2023 by Tally Group. View the original post.

How to help your customers take climate action with a click.

At Tally Digital, our mission is to ‘create customer experiences with good energy’.

‘Good energy’ for customers comes from the gift of knowledge, being empowered to make informed choices and the ability to take action.

So, how do we work with your customers to help them end the dominance of fossil fuels? And why are digital experiences so critical to help drive this change? Let’s step back a couple of generations.

The majority of Gen-Xers (people born between 1965 and 1980) didn’t worry much about where their energy was coming from. They just paid the bills, which were delivered by the postal service, and were happy so long as the power was connected and the bills weren’t too high.

Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) were the first to start widely adopting computer technologies. Many of us were first introduced to the digital world through gaming consoles – from the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1983 to the Sony Playstation in the 90s – which made digital technology fun and quite addictive.

Generation Z (born between the mid-1990’s and mid-2010’s – also known as ‘Digital Natives’) haven’t experienced a change from analogue to digital. For them, music, movies, and communication have always been digitised. They were also the ‘mobile generation’ and again, Japan was the leader in customer engagement.

The first known emoji set from 1997.
SoftBank (known as J-Phone at the time) created the first known emoji set in 1997. NTT DOCOMO followed in 1999 and ultimately made emoji a worldwide phenomenon. Emoji simply means “icon” in Japanese. Image Courtesy: Softbank/Emojipedia

Emojis were just the beginning

Early in my career, I worked on user experience innovations for Sony-Ericsson. There, I took inspiration from the DoCoMo phenomenon taking place in Japan. Nowhere else in the world had anything like it. The DoCoMo platform was influenced by Japanese manga, with on-screen characters often drawn with symbolic representations called manpu (such as a water drop on a face representing nervousness), and weather pictograms used to depict the weather conditions. We can thank Softbank and DoCoMo for pioneering emojis.

Today, as we pave the way for Generation Alpha, they expect almost everything to be available online, anytime, anywhere via their mobile devices. And they expect much more than just being presented with static information. They expect this information to be up to date, smart, insightful and actionable.

When it comes to energy, this generation expect a lot more than just viewing a usage graph and paying a bill. This means we need to step-up the data intelligence, big time. Customers expect to know how their energy is generated at any given time, which appliances at their household are drawing on this power, and their carbon footprint.

This level of knowledge empowers customers to take action when they want, such as offsetting their carbon, shifting their energy usage to off-peak and giving them flexibility around payments.

To Tally, “Good Energy” is about providing people from all generations with digital tools that are usable, useful and enjoyable. We know from experience that doing this well, and with purpose, leads to customers feeling empowered to make better choices, self-manage their energy use and help them on their decarbonisation journey.

Here’s how we do it at Tally.


The goal of Tally Trust is to help people understand their usage trends, before they are billed, and control their costs. This is achieved by pushing weekly insights to customers via email, a quick and affordable way to vastly improve the customer experience and build brand loyalty. 

An independent study by Melbourne University concluded that Tally Trust reduces churn by up to 30%. This finding came as a pleasant surprise (as people these days get far too many emails) but it persists as being effective for our clients who have achieved open rates 40%-70% week-on-week (with solar users at the higher end).

A tree graph showing energy usage allocation by appliance category.
Tally’s load disaggregation product provides easy to understand usage graphs enabling customers to pinpoint the source of their energy usage.    

Behavioural Demand Response (BDR)

Generating more electricity to meet peak demand substantially increases the grid’s carbon footprint. Tally BDR is a great way to reduce consumption during peak hours while also rewarding customers. Our BDR solution can be delivered through email, SMS or via our native app and works by inviting customers to participate, then providing personalised messaging and advice.

During and after the event we send customers a visualisation of their savings and performance. If they do well, your customer can earn loyalty points, a credit on their next bill or enter a prize draw. We are happy to customise the reward in the way you want. And customers love it! Our BDR programme has consistently high customer feedback (recently, NPS scores of +65)​.

Load Disaggregation (LDA)

Tally LDA provides weekly usage insights at the appliance category level for customers. Our easy to decipher graphs enable customers to pinpoint the source of their usage. This allows them to experiment to see the cause and effect of shifting their energy usage (e.g. a dryer timed to turn on at midnight) or upgrading to an energy-efficient appliance.

Tally can also detect if a customer has a high-usage appliance such as an electric hot-water system or a pool-pump. We can then use this knowledge to help your company upsell more efficient systems such as solar and battery. On our roadmap we have plans to extend Load Disaggregation by providing insights that tell customers how they compare to other households in their area, motivating them to better manage their energy consumption.

Flying Dollar Emoji
Emojis persist, 25 years later, as a way to engage customers and give feedback. Here, in Tally’s mobile app for energy retailers, we use a friendly animated emoji to show a successful payment transfer.

Digital Self Service (DSS)

Tally DSS is a modern suite of digital tools, on both web and mobile, to vastly improve the customer experience. It allows customers to self-manage their account, payments, use chat and explore insights, as well as everything else you’d expect including managing bills, payments, viewing usage, solar generation and tracking spend​.

Our platform is ever evolving with the ability to purchase additional modules as they come online. You’ll also have the flexibility to plug-in 3rd party services such as your own chat engine, EV monitoring or use our in-house experts to build custom modules to gain a competitive edge (e.g. e-commerce, rewards, campaigns).

Further innovations on the Tally Roadmap

There are  many more exciting customer tools coming up in 2023 from Tally including EV Tariff Optimisation, Load Shifting and Carbon Tracking. These new initiatives are focussed on Tally’s decarbonisation effort to help retailers and their customers optimise their energy efficiency, make better choices and offset their carbon.

For energy retailers, there are many benefits from service digitisation. You’ll be able to provide decarbonisation tools that customers can use for real world impact. You’ll be able to provide usage insights and help customers make good decisions. You’ll grow a customer base who are empowered and more loyal to your brand.

All this has flow-on benefits such as lower cost to service, churn reduction and, by gaining a customers trust, a much easier pathway to selling them new energy-efficient products and services.

Through positive customer engagement, happier customers are more likely to take notice and participate in decarbonisation initiatives. This generation desperately want change and are raring to get going on the journey to electrification and decarbonisation. We’re proud to be giving them the digital tools to do it.