Are you part of the innovator, automate or indifferent crowd? According to a recent J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Smart Energy Consumer Behavioral Segmentation Study, customers’ behaviors toward smart grid technologies can be grouped by the amount of control they want to take over their energy savings.
For instance, folks in the “innovator” segment are people who make significant out-of-pocket investments resulting in large environmental and financial benefits. The “automate” segment are people who like to let the utility companies manage their thermostat in exchange for cost savings. And the “indifferent” segment, are those who are not likely to make any actions toward energy management on their own.
By first recognizing the distinctions in electric customers behavior, researchers believe utility companies can help encourage more customers to start using energy technologies like smart grids and smart meters. Some customers will want to earn points for reducing their energy consumption and then be able to redeem their points for cash or merchandise. Still other customers, are more interested in knowing the amount of energy they use and the steps they need to take to make reductions.
The study, which was based on responses from 38,090 households served by 75 of the largest U.S. utility brands, is the first in a series of smart energy consumer engagement research studies that will take place.
“Rather than focusing on how customers perceive smart energy, the key to creating engagement lies in understanding the kinds of behaviors that different types of customers will undertake—behaviors that utilities hope to encourage,” said Peter Shaw, senior director of the smart energy practice at J.D. Power and Associates, in a statement. “This provides an efficient framework for optimizing effective customer education and engagement strategies designed to introduce smart energy behaviors to large, diverse customer populations.”