With an increasing focus on energy efficiency and consumer side demand response there has always been a counter intuitive feel to energy retailers motivating customers to use less of the very commodity they are trying to sell.
But this simple overview may be missing the point. In recent webinars I have hosted on customer engagement it has become clear that the silver bullet is most likely customer churn.
Repeated case studies and data show that irrespective of the customers’ engagement, the every act of delivering energy efficiency hits, tips and toolkits makes a significant impact on customer churn - as was highlighted by New Zealand’s Mercury Energy in a recent webinar.
Mackenzie estimate getting new customers is 5 to 10 times more expensive than retaining existing customers. When you factor in the margins due to regulatory pressures for consumer energy, it does not take long for the figures to stack up.
Compound this with the fact that by giving these customers an updated and different experience from other energy retailers, they can become brand enthusiasts. This would form an ideal stepping stone for utilities to play in the smart home market delivering energy services and remote monitoring amongst other things.
For energy retailers in competitive markets or those preparing to enter competitive markets, energy efficiency is and will become the key platform for engagement and management of churn.