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The new energy consumer: Architecting for the future

Explore new opportunities in virtual customer interaction, the connected consumer, distributed energy, and new products and services.

Overview

The provision of energy has become only a small piece of a large, complex puzzle, and the traditional value chain is giving way to one with bidirectional flows of energy, information and revenue. Energy is now viewed as more than a commodity—it has become a product, a lifestyle and a service enabler.

The New Energy Consumer—Architecting for the Future explores new opportunities in virtual customer interaction, the connected consumer, distributed energy, and new products and services. It also offers Accenture’s view of the energy consumer of the future.

READ THE REPORT [PDF, 2.7 MB]

Background

Accenture undertook the multiyear New Energy Consumer research program to help gas, electricity and water 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.

2010 Understanding Consumer Preferences in Energy Efficiency

2011 Revealing the Values of the New Energy Consumer

2012 Actionable Insights for the New Energy Consumer

2013 Delivering the New Energy Consumer Experience

2014 The New Energy Consumer—Architecting for the Future

Key Findings

In a complex world of dynamic energy markets, disruptive technologies, industry convergence and the digital revolution, what will be the enduring and prevailing characteristics of the future energy consumer?

Based on key findings from five years of end-consumer research, Accenture has identified nine consumer characteristics that will shape how providers address and serve the consumer of the future.

  1. Energy Perspective—addressing a spectrum of consumer mindsets, from energy literate to agnostic

  2. Omnipresent—supporting seamless virtual interaction anytime, anywhere

  3. Individualized—personalizing the energy experience to address unique needs and preferences

  1. Social Centric—creating a gathering place for ideas, conversations and collaboration

  2. Prosumer—buying and selling energy via a variety of business partners

  3. Tech Savvy—providing set-and-forget technologies that deliver financial savings, convenience and individual control

  4. Interconnected—developing bundled solutions that combine energy with other products and services for the home, business and automobile

  5. Pay It Forward—offering a range of prepaid energy solutions to meet a variety of lifestyle needs

  6. Energy Diverse—adopting a range of nontraditional energy options, including distributed generation, net metering and microgrids

Recommendations

Successful energy providers will be those that understand how and why the new energy consumer requires much more than the traditional utility service model. They will also recognize that strategies for interaction, new products and services, or in-home technologies should be integrated. Incorporating all nine of the consumer characteristics into next-generation strategies will influence how a provider identifies and approaches new market opportunities, sources of value and, ultimately, determines its business model.