According to a consumer survey conducted by Comverge, Inc., the leading provider of Intelligent Energy Management solutions for Residential and Commercial & Industrial (C&I) customers, Americans increasingly want a single location to manage their energy efficiency and demand response efforts.
And while a majority of people still rely on paper statements, there is a growing desire to access energy-related information online. The results of the survey, compiled from interviews with more than 1,000 adults in early January 2013, highlight a growing appetite for utilities to further engage customers and provide better tools to manage energy use.
The survey found a noticeable trend towards consumers wanting to simplify how they engage with their energy usage. Of the 1,034 respondents, more than half (57 percent) claimed that they would prefer to have a centralized location to manage all their utility driven energy management programs. This result is particularly pronounced among younger adults, with 69 percent of those ages 18-29 and 66 percent of those ages 30-39 providing this response. The results also show a growing desire to move information online.
A majority of Americans (72 percent) still access details on their energy bill through monthly paper statements. However, only 58 percent want to access paper statements in the future. As adults continue the behavioral shift to moving more of their activities online, Comverge fully expects this number to become significantly lower.
"These survey findings shine a light on how we, as an industry, can ensure energy users take a more active role in monitoring and managing their consumption habits," said Blake Young, President and CEO, Comverge, Inc. "As a society, we are very digitally savvy and much more conscious of how energy use impacts the environment. Couple these changes with an overall desire for simplification, and it should be no surprise that people want all of their energy information in one place, available on any device and easy to understand."
Demonstrating the need for solutions that better engage customers, the survey also questioned respondents on the time spent monitoring and reviewing their energy usage. Only 22 percent of respondents claimed they check their energy usage and/or bill at least once per week, while 16 percent said they don't track it at all. In addition, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) stated that they spend less than 10 minutes per month reviewing their energy usage/bill, and nearly a third (32 percent) said they take less than 5 minutes per month reviewing their usage/bill. For context, the average American spends more than 33 minutes per day checking Facebook, which is 100 times longer than the time spent checking their usage/bill.
Young continued, "For the last 30 years, Comverge has helped utilities better engage with their customers through advanced load control and dynamic pricing programs, and the company has enrolled more than 1 million customers in demand response programs, deployed more than 5.5 million energy management devices, and interacted with residential energy users more than 75 million times. Next week at DistribuTECH (booth#2829), Comverge will build on this experience by introducing an innovative residential customer engagement solution that addresses the needs highlighted in this survey and introduces a number of first-in-the-industry capabilities."