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LATEST THINKING


Overview

Electricity and gas markets are experiencing a groundswell of change and disruption. It’s fueling new forms of innovation. It’s giving rise to new routes to consumers. And, it’s enabling new entrants to play in the rapidly expanding energy retail ecosystem.


This disruption is shifting many utilities from large, centrally driven supply companies to distributed and diffused bi-directional energy providers. The time of energy as a commodity is over. It is now about knowing and engaging the whole consumer. Consumers expect providers to care about their individual values and needs.

Four consumer trends shaping the new energy retail ecosystem:

Instant everything

Fast, simple and effortless is what consumers want. It needs to be on their terms—anytime, anywhere.
Simplicity wins

Hyper-relevant

Meeting personal expectations is the new now. Consumers want personalized interactions and experiences that align with their lifestyle.
Where more is more

Meaningful experiences

Purchases are now an expression of who you are and what you value. Intangible branding is now key, going far beyond product value.
The expression of “me”

Collective consumption

New ways to share products and services without the burden of ownership are now welcome. It is about trust, community and collaboration.
The power of “we”

The Millennial Factor

Millennials represent the new generation of energy consumers.
They have a different perspective on energy and engage differently with energy providers.

Customer Plays

In an era of digital disruption, distributed energy resources (DER) and growing asymmetric competition, Accenture has identified three primary consumer plays to address the differing needs of customer engagement across customer segments.

Lean and automated low-cost commodity supplier

Customers want to minimize time and effort on managing energy purchase and consumption; they have limited engagement but expect convenient, effortless and instant service
Provider delivers commodity electricity and gas services with efficient digital customer service
Strategic imperatives?
  • Focus on operational excellence to maintain price advantage
  • Defend position with minimal margin sacrifice
  • Offer digital service differentiation to build stickiness and maintain customer satisfaction
No-regrets investments?
  • Automation and customer operations excellence
  • Digital customer transaction enablement
  • Seamless customer experience
  • Digital engagement and acquisitions

Facilitator of relationships and transactions in the energy system

Customers are sporadic to regular switchers in the competitive markets and they are cost conscious in regulated markets
Provider facilitates a marketplace to optimize energy consumption and shift customer to value orientation
Strategic imperatives?
  • Profitably maintain scale via lifetime value–driven acquisition and retention focusing on building the relationship and conducting targeted upselling into more profitable segments
  • Build client engagement with new energy-related products and services
No-regrets investments?
  • Multifaceted digital marketing
  • Personalized products and services
  • Integrated non-commodity services
  • Insight-centered operations

Partner of choice for the collaborative and connected lifestyle of the future

Customers are knowledgeable, with a prosumer mindset and willingness to invest time in consumption management and optimization; they are tech savvy and driven more by values (such as innovative, modern, environmentally friendly or trendy) than by monetary benefits
Provider combines home technologies and insights in one branded, effortless consumer solution via the connected home to help customers optimize energy production and consumption via connected living and energy sharing platforms
Strategic imperatives?
  • Create value through integrated energy and non-energy products and services
  • Increase margin and sticky growth through product and service innovation, differentiation and targeted offerings
No-regrets investments?
  • Automated home energy solution services
  • Connected living platform

About The Research Program

The New Energy Consumer research program is designed to help utilities understand emerging consumer needs and preferences, to identify new challenges and opportunities and to bring focus to the critical competencies required to succeed in the evolving energy marketplace.

The program draws upon primary research insights from end consumers around the world, leading practices from industry and cross-industry providers, and technology adoption analysis.