Is the smart grid ready or enlightened consumers?Compared to the an-like adorationsome online and consumer productscompanies routinely elicit romconsumers, the traditional electrical-grid-to-customer relationship lacks juice. Indeed, Accenture researchshows that until very recently,consumers have overwhelmingly viewed electricity as a low-value,commodity product, not worthy o much direct interaction withthe provider.In act, more than hal ailed toconnect with their utility at allduring a given year, and thosethat did spent, on average, justnine minutes doing so. For many,interacting with their electricalutilities was an aterthought thatoered industry players ew openingsto capture additional value or burnish brands.Now, however, we believe anincreasingly amped-up intimacy could be orming between theenergy marketplace and the peoplewho rely on it.During the last decade, concernsover climate change, volatile energy prices, blackouts and brownoutshave powered the rollout o newsmart grid technologies that manageinormation ows to make electricalpower observable, controllable,automated and integrated. What’sdierent now, though, are changeson the demand side—the emergenceo a new type o energy consumer who is increasingly defning theuture o the energy marketplace. As consumers become more mobile,connected via social media and moreconscious o their energy needs thanever beore, their preerences arechanging. As a consequence, increasingnumbers are beginning to expect morerom their energy experience than justkeeping the lights on.These new energy consumers aresearching more than ever or valuebeyond the traditional commodity product. They expect service anytime,anywhere (or instance, to rechargeelectric vehicles) and want targetedoerings and value propositions.Signifcant numbers want to reducetheir personal impact on the envi-ronment, more choices over their energy and usage management, andinnovative ways to reduce costs. Accenture global research—inNorth America, Europe, Asia Pacifcand Arica—shows that electricity consumers are increasingly interestedin products and services that alignwith their liestyles and values.In act, we identifed our valuepropositions that are rising to thetop o the list o consumer demands.
“Save me money.”
Give me thelowest possible cost and I’ll dothe rest.
“Make it predictable.”
Give meconsistent, no-rills service withoutany surprises on my bills.
“Save me time.”
Deliver set-it-and-orget-it solutions or managingmy energy needs.
“Save the planet.”
Give me peaceo mind with green options.Today, no single electricity provider delivers on all o these value propositions.Consumers are also embracingnew channels o communicationand changing the way they interactwith their providers. Our researchshows that when it comes to energy-related interactions, consumersoverwhelmingly preer web-enabledchannels and sel-service. They arealso showing increasing interestin leveraging social media as aplatorm or meaningul two-way communication and service, particularly in emerging economies.