Analysis by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative designed to inform industry in better aligning programs, services and technologies with consumer needs
Residential consumers in the United States and Canada are increasingly making the connection between smart energy technologies – including electric vehicles, smart home devices and energy-efficient products – and addressing climate change, according to the latest report from the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC).
More than ever, SECC’s 2020 research revealed a strong influence of environmental concern on the interests, behaviors and motivations of energy consumers. In the “Beneficial Electrification: The Voice of the Consumer” report, the statement “Electricity is becoming cleaner and more renewable every day” resonated most strongly with consumers, and in research on lower-income Americans, the Environmentally Driven emerged as a distinct consumer persona.
The “2021 State of the Consumer” report highlights the major themes that emerged from SECC’s 2020 consumer research, two white papers and a U.S. Department of Energy report on Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). Last year’s research included a groundbreaking report on consumer interest in beneficial electrification, video interviews with consumers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and an in-depth look at lower-income consumers.
From these studies, SECC developed six themes on what consumers want today:
- Consumers are making the connection between smart energy and slowing climate change.
- Consumers across all segments are interested in smart energy-enabled products.
- Lower-income consumers are keenly interested in smart energy and the environment.
- Consumers need more tools for assessing programs and technologies.
- Consumers look to their utilities for support as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.
- Education and engagement are essential to realizing the promise of beneficial electrification and AMI.
The “2021 State of the Consumer” report can be downloaded here, and the research team will be hosting a free webinar on the report’s main findings on Tuesday, March 30 at 1 p.m. (ET).