The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone. For many utility customers this has meant lost or furloughed jobs, more time spent at home, and higher energy bills. Our recent research on utility customer engagement found that during the pandemic:
- 50% of customers reported an increase in home energy usage
- 15% of customers have postponed paying a utility bill
- 12% have contacted their utility more than usual
Added to this, almost half of customers (48%) said they are more distracted and are therefore monitoring their energy usage less–making surprises in bills even more common.
However, there are also customers thinking about investing in distributed energy resources. 23% of customers have recently made an energy-related purchase to make their home more comfortable and another 36% are thinking about purchasing smart thermostats. And over a third of utility customers surveyed said they are considering an EV purchase.
These research findings suggest that the customer experience during the pandemic varies widely. While many customers are focused on saving energy so they can reduce their rising energy bills, others are researching and/or making investments in their home and household.
Because of this, personalization is even more important in the pandemic to get the right message to the right customer. While some customers might be interested in a new billing plan or energy efficiency tips, others might appreciate a rebate for an EV charger on a utility Marketplace or enrollment in a smart thermostat program–or even all of the above!