Energy consumption and efficiency from utilities and their customers travels in both directions. With one in three U.S. households planning to move in the next five years, that’s $7.4 trillion to be spent on home purchases. The time is now for utilities to draw a dotted line down the middle of the road, and tap into this burgeoning opportunity.
Some 90% of homeowners have tried to do something about their energy usage over the last five years, according to a recent survey by the Demand Institute, a non-advocacy, nonprofit organization jointly operated by Nielsen and The Conference Board.
The same study, which surveyed more than 10,000 households, found two-thirds changed living habits toward energy-efficiency, including replacing old light bulbs, while one-third sealed leaks, replaced hold appliances and installed programmable thermostats.
Despite this, average household spending on utility power has jumped 56% over the last decade.
Homeowners’ effort to make positive change in their respective energy consumption is there. But more can be done.
Many utilities – and not just the ones partnering with Simple Energy – are taking steps to empower customers to make energy-wise decisions, and better improve their relationship together through customer engagement programs.
The connected home is no longer the future, as the Internet of Things, smart meters and thermostats have made this today’s reality. Technology and engagement platforms such as Simple Energy’s allow utilities to provide real-time, personalized energy consumption data and recommendations to create a more energy-aware consumer.
Simple Energy’s partner utilities often take it a step further, providing incentives such as Starbucks and iTunes gift cards, airline miles and donations to area schools to help drive further energy reduction.
But in the end, no matter how much personalized messaging is used and no matter how many rewards are offered, the onus to truly become more energy-wise falls on the consumer. To do that, each person must discover what motivates him or her.
We are all motivated by different things. That motivation might simply be to shave a few dollars off your monthly energy bill. For some, it’s leaving less of a carbon footprint. Others like competing with their friends and neighbors to see who can save more money. And many like receiving additional compensation and tangible rewards.
There’s a long way to go. Utilities are evolving; consumers are becoming more educated. It’s a two-way street that, when traveled together, can lead to a very efficient destination.