March 2, 2024

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Two thirds of energy consumers unwilling to spend more time and money to be sustainable -research says

Consumer action will be the critical driver of success in the energy transition. And while energy consumers are more interested than ever in sustainability and the potential of a clean energy future, 70% say they won’t spend more time or money to take action. Consumer fatigue is setting in, stalling confidence, and stagnating progress says EY in the ‘Energy transition consumer insights’ report.

Greg Guthridge, EY Global Energy and Resources Customer Experience Transformation Leader, says:

“Consumer apprehension comes as we enter a new — more difficult — phase of the energy transition, all while dealing with higher energy prices, geopolitical volatility, and growing concerns around energy equity. While efforts on the supply side are gaining momentum, we need an even more fundamental shift in how we engage and encourage sustainable consumer behavior. Energy consumers want a clean energy future but need a broad range of support to make personal energy choices. Closing the gap between their interest and action will depend on energy providers, government, and the broader energy ecosystem working together to pull every lever available.”

Consumers lose faith in the “three As” of energy

Over three years, EY surveyed nearly 100,000 residential energy consumers across 21 markets, with the latest insight revealing consumers are less confident in their energy future than they were a year ago. Many say the energy system just isn’t delivering on the three fundamental aspects of the energy experience: affordability, access, and appeal. Only 30% of consumers are confident that their energy will remain affordable and 72% state they can’t absorb a bill increase of 10%. Moreover, while 26% of consumers have a good understanding of terms such as renewable energy and sustainability, this figure has not improved over the last three years.

The findings also show that consumers are diverse – and often irrational – being driven by a wide range of energy values. Creating ‘appeal’ means understanding the complicated drivers of human behavior. Of those surveyed, 77% want their energy provider to offer low-cost energy options alongside high-end products and services. Additionally, 67% seek personalized energy solutions and 18% of consumers would adopt new energy products and services if it was easier to purchase and install them.

Guthridge says: “Change is accelerating exponentially across the world’s multiple energy transitions. Disruption to the energy industry is increasing. And at the heart of this is the consumer. The EY research shows consumers are interested about the potential of change but want partners to help.”

“This creates an opportunity for energy providers to reshape themselves as trusted advisors -making change easier, faster, broader, and deeper. A holistic, consumer-centric approach to the energy transition is how we accelerate progress toward a fairer, greener, and better energy system that delivers more value for everyone.” 

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