Utilities and changing consumer requirements
Around the world utility companies are exposed to major reputational challenges and opportunities. While companies face increased concerns over climate change, energy safety and volatile energy prices there are also a number of opportunities for corporate value creation and reputational growth as these same challenges provide opportunities to for the development of products and services as well as the traditional models of stakeholder engagement. These will become important sources of competitive differentiation.
A recent global survey from Accenture found that consumer habits are starting to change, with more customers seeking energy efficient services, shopping around for better deals and requiring broader yet more tailored propositions and experiences. As well as providing greater opportunities for energy companies, the report makes clear that these changing needs will also attract new competition to deliver them.
The Citizens Advice Bureau in partnership with Ofgem has recently introduced the “Energy Best Deal” campaign aiming to raise awareness of the savings that customers can make by negotiating with existing providers, financial help customers can receive from suppliers and advice on how to save money by using less energy. Following the recent criticisms of the Big Six for allegedly confusing customers with a complex array of tariffs, this campaign could significantly help energy customers choose the best deal adapted to their lifestyle and consumption needs in the crowded market. In short, there will be greater price transparency and ease of supplier switching.
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