What millennials are telling us

Millennials engage differently with energy providers and will drive much of their future value.
Published: Thu 18 Aug 2016

Depending on where one is, a lot of things are happening in 2020. Carbon targets, smart meter targets, renewables targets… There is also something else that may have escaped attention: the millennials – typically aged between 18-34 years currently – will be in full force as consumers.

We know they are demanding in what they want and consequently strongly influential on consumer trends. So what do they want from their energy utility providers?

Three things millennials want

According to a recent survey from Accenture, they have a different perspective on energy. In essence, their wants can be put into three categories.

First, they want renewables and other new energy products and services. They are keen to experiment and they want to be the first to sign up for these products and services (22% and 24% respectively, compared with 15% and 17% in the 35-54-year group and 6% and 7% in the 55 and older group). More than half are likely to sign up for solar panels in the next five years (56%, double the 55+-year group).

Second, they want home energy management data. They would like to be offered an in-home digital assistant and monitoring service and they will sign up for an application to remotely monitor and control home elements in the next five years (80% and 61% respectively, compared with 62% and 36% in the 55+-year group).

Third, they want deeper engagement with their energy providers. They want a personalized experience across digital channels and information needs to be both instantaneous and accessible. Over three-quarters would be interested in an online personalized marketplace to select and purchase energy-related products and services. Most (83%) would be discouraged from signing up for the additional products and services if their provider could not provide a seamless experience.

What this means for you

Clearly from these findings the millennials will drive much of the future value for energy providers.

“Energy providers must take these and other insights about these groups to heart, to unlock value, because consumers’ preferences and behaviours are rapidly changing the market landscape,” comments Tony Masella, managing director of Accenture Energy Consumer Services. “Successful energy providers will place design thinking at the heart of their business and view customer and retail operations as a strategic asset.”

In practice this has three primary consumer play implications for the provider of the future:

Customer-centric supplier, lean and automated with low cost commodities

Energy marketplace enabler, facilitating relationships and transactions in the energy system

Connected lifestyle provider, the provider of choice for the collaborative and connected lifestyle of the future.

Accenture’s seventh annual survey of energy consumers explores the views of almost 10,000 respondents across 17 countries. 

Further reading

Accenture: The New Energy Consumer