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The Asia Pacific new energy consumer

Asia Pacific is one of the world’s most diverse areas; it is no surprise that energy providers are facing fundamental changes to transform the industry.

Overview

The energy industry around the world is facing unprecedented and fundamental change. Asia Pacific is no exception and in many regards is leading the way with innovative energy market solutions and approaches. Rapid advancements in digital technology, increasing adoption of distributed generation, rollouts of smart technologies, and connected home products and services are just a few of the game changers affecting energy providers and consumers.

In Asia Pacific, the focus for many providers has traditionally been reliable, consistent delivery of electricity and gas to support economic growth and meet relatively basic consumer expectations of reliable resources, accessible customer service and accurate billing. While dynamics and pace vary considerably among markets, increasingly, the emergence of a new type of energy consumer is defining the future of the energy marketplace and creating new demands on energy providers.

As the fast-moving consumer world becomes increasingly social and connected, more consumers are seeking added value, personal relevance and societal meaning—all of which extend beyond simply selling or delivering energy. Consumers are beginning to expect more from their providers.

The research and conclusions in this paper draw upon insights from the Accenture New Energy Consumer research program and were presented at the Conference of the Electric Power Supply Industry (CEPSI) 2014.

READ THE REPORT [PDF]

Key Findings

Across Asia Pacific, we have seen three key areas of change that are reshaping the marketplace:

  • The division of consumer preferences is creating a spectrum of expectations—from consumers who are informed and active to those who view energy as a basic commodity. Energy providers must cost-effectively engage consumers across this range of expectations.
  • Digital is now about more than just channels of interaction; it is imperative to address the demands of consumers who want anytime, anywhere convenience.
  • Consumer interest in distributed generation, energy management technologies and new products and services are reshaping many energy providers’ underlying business models.

To thrive in the next-generation energy ecosystem, energy providers need to move forward with increasing cadence to build new capabilities that help them to scale quickly, seize new opportunities, tap into unconventional markets and build a future-proof foundation of simplicity and flexibility.

Recommendations

Accenture has observed four core competencies that increasingly define the roadmap for reinventing operations. Accenture believes that successful providers will be those that focus on developing a consumer-centric, nimble organization built around the following competencies. While many utilities today have elements of these competencies, it is the holistic culmination of all four that will help deliver step-change improvements and form flexible operations that can manage the increasing pace of change and uncertainty:

  • Delivering operational excellence. In Asia Pacific, delivering operational excellence requires an in-depth knowledge of the most pressing consumer priorities. This often boils down to getting back to the basics and removing common consumer dissatisfiers.

  • Optimizing consumer interaction. The interaction landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. Utilities have an opportunity to fundamentally shift the traditional contact center–focused interaction paradigm toward digital self-service.

  • Creating lasting consumer engagement. Across Asia Pacific, energy has traditionally been met with low customer engagement and interaction. However, a number of factors are changing this. New products and services, conservation policies and different regulatory approaches are making engagement critical.

  • Extending the value proposition. Industry and technology convergence is redefining potential value propositions for energy. Energy providers are exploring new tariff structures, energy management approaches and innovative products that offer the potential for new revenue streams and exciting consumer value propositions. Tapping into these opportunities will require many providers to develop more advanced capabilities around brand building, product development and management.

While there is no single “right” roadmap, Accenture believes that focusing on delivering operational excellence, optimizing consumer interaction, creating lasting consumer engagement and extending the value proposition can help to create the foundation for success.

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