Electricity customers are finding connected-home and renewable energy applications more attractive mostly because they are concerned about their energy spending.
According to consumer research from Accenture, approximately 71% of electricity end users think their utility company could be doing more to help them manage their energy consumption better, and in so doing, curb their energy bills. Only 21% say they are satisfied with utilities' explanations for rate hikes.
Accenture's report, The New Energy Consumer: Architecting for the Future, surveyed more than 13,000 individuals in 26 countries and found that a majority of customers are interested in a range of next-generation home and energy solutions from their energy provider, including advice on energy efficiency. [Engerati-Empowering the customer to modify energy usage through increased behaviour awareness.]
Customer interest in digital energy tools is growing, but about two-thirds of consumers have seen challenges adopting these technologies. Only 45% said they were able to complete a given request every time.
The vast majority of customers (80%) said their digital customer service in other sectors is better than that of the power sector. Sectors include banking, online retail service, telecommunications companies, as well as government agencies. Surveys like these and Google’s obsession with electricity and its management, should be a wake-up call for utilities that want to thrive in a new, more competitive energy market. [Engerati-The Google Smart Home Play].
More than half of electricity customers told surveyors they would think about installing solar panels or connected-home solutions in the next five years, or buying an electric vehicle in the next 10 years. The lowering costs of technology and its installation, makes it an even more attractive route to follow. [Engerati-Cheaper Solar Installations –Watershed Moment for Distributed Generation and Renewables].
Interest in connected-home products and services such as energy management and other monitoring and control solutions is projected to rise from seven percent to 57 percent in the next five years. This is due mainly due to the expectation that they will help reduce energy bills, increase comfort and convenience, and enable remote control of home devices.
This trend towards energy management solutions and self generation should be seen as an opportunity by utilities. Even without lower rates, the existing contract or relationship between the power consumer and the utility is long-standing which makes it easier for the customer to stay on the grid and even buy energy management solutions from the utility. Perry Stoneman Corporate Vice President and Global Head of Sectors and Utilities at Capgemini explains, “Utilities should use that opportunity to keep its customers since it is less fuss for the customer to stay with the utility.” However, it is imperative that utilities make an attractive offer to keep its customers. “For the consumer there are benefits to staying on the grid and being part of the community. This is mainly because customers know who they are dealing with based on a long history.” [Engerati-Utilities Should Take Advantage of the Transformation].
Capgemini will be discussing how utilities can use technology to their benefit in our webinar Exploit the Power of New Technologies with Capgemini on 23 April 2015.