Dear Utilities: Your customers just want the lights on


Consumer demands on utilities are far different than on most other industries because energy purchases are considered more and more as a basic commodity. In fact, 44 percent of energy consumers say they have no interest in interacting at all with their energy providers.

Consumers have unequivocally shown that when it comes to their energy provider, time, convenience and value are all that really matters.

Utilities should look at their changing consumer, investing in customer centricity only as appropriate for that audience. Given the changes in the industry—from deregulation to decarbonization—now is the time to adjust customer strategy.



Energy consumers want utilities to stop the noise. Anything not related to time, convenience and value is noise to consumers who view energy as a simple commodity.

Your customer is now an algorithm. Five in 10 US customers want a switching service that roams the internet to find the best possible electricity offers based on their usage—and automatically switches them to the best offer. Reducing the cost to serve and sharing that with the customer, rather than emphasizing brand value, is the smart path.

Employees are still a differentiator. Employee engagement is strongly correlated to customer loyalty metrics. While more utilities customers are choosing based on price—if price is the same amongst several competitors—your employees’ interactions with customers (even if infrequent) could be enough to tip the scales in your favor.


Utilities who are seeing the new industry reality clearly are already moving to embrace it, including:



Letting customer desires guide investments
Customers will have an increased appetite for more if they are delighted with the basics. Then, utilities must disrupt and revolutionize for growth with new products and services.



Sharing the wealth
Utilities must reduce operating costs through AI and smart investment—then pass savings on to the customer.




Investing in your employees
Forecasts of AI adoption rates suggest that human interaction with customers is here to stay. Companies who invest heavily in employee experience see tangible value.



Simon Mezger

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Utilities, Australia & New Zealand


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