Optimising consumer engagement – SECC weighs in


The Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC) has released the latest in a series of white papers that highlight successful customer programmes and services from electricity providers across the United States and Canada.

The white paper – Optimising Consumer Engagement – is based on the five key themes on energy consumers’ needs and wants found in SECC’s 2019 State of the Consumer report. Through a meta-analysis of 2018 consumer research, the SECC has been able to provide a big-picture overview of today’s energy consumers. The five themes indicated in the report are:

  1. Return-on-investment information helps consumers understand programmes and encourages participation.
  2. The time is now for technology-based solutions like those offered in other industries.
  3. The already engaged consumers are ready for the next step.
  4. Upfront costs are a hurdle for many consumers – not only those with lower incomes.
  5. Consumers will enrol and participate if it’s easy and convenient for them to do so.

The new white paper provides context for each of these five themes, explaining why it’s important in today’s energy industry and gives multiple examples of programmes and services from electricity providers that illustrate the theme.

Examples included are from investor-owned utilities, retail energy providers and municipal utilities, including NB Power, Con Edison, Reliant, Entergy, Colorado Springs Utilities, Austin Energy and more.

Highlighted programmes include:

  • a low-income LED lighting programme,
  • a residential solar education programme,
  • a community-based energy assistance campaign,
  • an online marketplace for energy-efficient products
  • and a residential rate plan with a smart thermostat and smart home hub included.

“The energy industry is undergoing a major transition toward being centered around the end consumer,” said SECC’s President and CEO Patty Durand. “By providing concrete examples for the big-picture takeaways from the 2019 State of the Consumer report, it is our hope that we can provide a clear path for electricity providers to follow in their consumer-focused efforts.”

The new Optimizing Consumer Engagement white paper is available for download here and an on-demand webinar presentation covering the themes and examples contained in the paper can be streamed here.

Smart Energy International’s editor spoke with Patty Durand, SECC President and CEO during DistribuTECH earlier this year. See what she had to see below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBcCuual3qU&w=652&h=367]