What if consumers drove the energy transition?

May 4, 2020

Most of the world continues to feel as if in a standstill. The new normal of professional “life”, across all industries, has required a lot of adaptability – to use technology and digital solutions to facilitate a way to work from home. Consumers are becoming more conscious regarding their actions and usage of utilities due to the circumstances. More and more people are realising the power to create change within industries is higher than it has ever been. Consumers are able to make decisions and are more engaged in the energy transition that the world is heading in. They can make choices regarding generating, storing, trading their own electricity; and are also capable of monitoring and controlling their energy usage. In today’s modern world, consumers are leaning towards clean & renewable energy as a more sustainable and environmentally responsible choice. 

Building new business models around customer experience are becoming more evident across utility companies. While there isn’t just one business model that meets the requirements of the future market, by creating a stronger customer relationship and by providing data to their consumers about energy usage and management, consumers appreciate and value the data, being able to cut down on certain costs resulting in a change of behaviour. As consumer’s values and preferences evolve, utility companies must take a proactive role in helping to shape the future of the industry. Creating a customer-centric organisation where the customer experience is the largest focus, companies become more adaptable to the changing needs and expectations of their consumers. In an article by Enlit Europe in the “What if” series, their director Paddy Young predicts that the use of artificial intelligence will provide insight into the requirements of consumers, being able to make a more strategic offering to customers. In this sense the consumer will be the largest force driving the energy transition.  

In this new environment of technological innovation, consumer attitudes of the past are changing. Interacting with energy companies to better manage and control their energy, the expectation of good customer service is rising due to having good customer service interactions across other industries. Consumers expect the same level of service from their utility company. According to a report by PwC, over the next ten years the utility customer will be digital, connected and social, and asks the question to the utility industry: are you prepared for the connected, mobile utility consumer of the future? Are you willing to be even more engaged with your customers? Are you ready to embrace technology and innovation now, to be ready when they are? 

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