Findings show customer energy use is up due to COVID-19, but customers have less time to monitor and manage their use
BOULDER, Colo, Sept. 30 2020 – Uplight, the leader in connected customer energy experiences, today announced results from its market research study on shifting residential energy customer attitudes and behaviors in the face of digitization, decarbonization and changes in their utility relationships. One key finding from the study: Personalization pays off for utilities by driving significantly higher customer satisfaction, engagement and energy saving actions.
Personalization is a stronger predictor of customer satisfaction than contact frequency, bill payment method, and other demographic and household characteristics. Customers who rated their utility communications as highly personalized had 28% higher ratings of overall utility satisfaction than those who rated communications as less personalized. Personalization is also a significant driver of energy reduction actions with customers who perceive communications and experiences to be customized being 24% more likely to take action on email tips and invest in energy saving products.
“We’ve seen time and again that personalization drives better results for our utility partners, and that when Uplight creates a connected experience for end consumers, they are motivated to save money and energy,” said Jay Grinde, Chief Customer Officer at Uplight. “This research highlights the impact of changing customer expectations in their utility relationships. Forward-thinking utilities have already started capitalizing on this insight, by moving toward a ‘segment of one’ approach that connects the dots between what customers want and what the utility offers.”
The research also took the pulse of energy consumers during COVID-19 to understand how the pandemic has changed their relationship with utility providers. The research found that 50% of customers say their home energy usage has increased since the onset of COVID-19, and 36% report an increased number of household members working from home. Yet respondents are distracted, with 48% of customers stating they are monitoring their energy usage less despite this increase in usage. More than ever, utilities need to break through the noise to find ways to engage their customers with personalized usage information and recommendations for reducing energy use.
The research also found that distributed energy resources are becoming more mainstream. The overwhelming majority of customers, 69%, either own or are considering purchasing a smart thermostat, electric vehicle, rooftop solar, or household energy storage product. One in three say they check their utility website for rebates or offers before making a purchase, highlighting both progress for utilities, who historically have not been heavily involved in product purchases, as well as an opportunity to continue to build their profile as the go-to source for energy product information. And while awareness was high of smart thermostats, rooftop solar, and electric vehicles, other new grid edge products continue to emerge and require more consumer education. For instance, 27% of customers stated they do not know what household energy storage is.
Uplight partnered with See Change Institute to conduct a nationally representative survey of 1,000 utility customers from the United States. Utilities interested in learning more can visit Uplight.com/survey2020
Uplight is powering the customer energy experience for more than 85 electric and gas utilities around the globe. Uplight provides the market’s leading energy applications for Demand Side Management, Energy Analytics, Disaggregation, Utility Marketplaces, Utility Personalization, Home Energy Management, Demand Response, and more. Connected by a unique Energy Personalization Architecture, Uplight’s platform blends advanced data science with energy-specific analytics, enabling utilities to create the personalized customer experiences that improve customer satisfaction, reduce service costs, increase revenue, and deliver sustainable energy outcomes––all in a simple, fast, and cost-effective way. A certified B Corporation, Uplight is on a mission to build a more sustainable future by accelerating the clean energy ecosystem. To learn more, visit us at www.uplight.com, find us on Twitter @uplight or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/uplightenergy