Singapore SMBs and consumers want more cost-savings and customised services from utility providers, according to Accenture study

Singapore SMBs and Consumers Want More Cost-Savings and Customised Services from Utility Providers, According to Accenture Study


According to Accenture’s latest New Energy Consumer research, many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and residential consumers in Singapore are turning to their utility providers for information on ways to reduce their energy bill and better manage energy usage. Also, 46 percent of consumers and 47 percent of SMBs trust their utility providers to inform and assist them in choosing energy-saving options, greatly surpassing the global average of 24 percent and 38 percent respectively.

The global research, now in its fourth year, identified opportunities and offers actionable insights to utilities to better engage their customers – residential and SMBs (the first time this segment of consumers were included in the survey). 2,200 businesses across nine countries, including 200 Singapore businesses, and more than 11,000 residential consumers in 21 countries, with 500 respondents from Singapore, were surveyed for the research.

Key findings of SMBs Survey

The survey identified two areas where utility providers could better support SMBs while generating new revenue streams for themselves.

Tailoring products and services and aligning with SMBs’ business cycle
Singapore SMBs surveyed believe it is important for utilities to offer solutions such as rate plans tailored to their business. Also, 71 percent indicated that they would be willing to pay a premium for these additional levels of “tailoring”, much higher than the global average of 53 percent.

Helping SMBs boost the bottom line
With the rising operating costs including energy bills, a majority of Singapore SMBs (87 percent) are interested in products that would enable them to generate their own energy such as solar panels. This percentage is the highest among all the countries surveyed and is higher than the global average of 74 percent.

“In this era of economic uncertainty and fundamental change in the evolving energy marketplace, utilities have an incredible opportunity to engage these often-neglected SMBs, which have long been considered the backbone of economic growth,” said Greg Guthridge, global managing director for Accenture Energy Consumer Services.

Key findings of Residential Consumers’ Survey

Reponses from survey participants indicate two key opportunities for utilities to better serve and engage their consumers.

Meeting the needs of cost-conscious consumers
Reducing cost is a priority for Singapore consumers. Sixty-two percent of Singapore consumers plan to invest in energy-related products and/or services for their home such as energy-efficient appliances or smart thermostats in the next 12 months. The top three barriers for consumers to invest in such products are costs, the lack of knowledge of available products and the perceived lack of savings on energy bills.

Extending the mobile experience
The increased use of mobile devices and the large proportion of tech-savvy consumers in Singapore are driving the demand for mobile energy experiences with personalised information. More than half (52 percent) of the consumers surveyed say they would like to receive notifications about their energy usage on their mobile devices. Thirty-four percent said they would like to have the ability to remotely control their air-conditioning and home appliances using their mobile devices.

“It’s becoming clear that utilities are at a turning point when it comes to serving the new, tech-savvy Singapore consumer,” Guthridge said. “Satisfaction and trust are built on consistently delivering the basic customer experience whether through digital or traditional channels. Once in place, utilities have incredible opportunities to create digitally-powered value propositions that can deliver step-change consumer engagement.”

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