Energy suppliers must satisfy demanding millennials

Energy suppliers need to “rethink” their business model to attract and satisfy the demands of millennials who are driving change in the industry.

New research found that 81 per cent of millennials (aged 18-34) would be discouraged from signing up for additional products and services if their energy provider could not provide a seamless experience. Additionally, 22 per cent of global respondents said they wanted to experiment with new technologies, compared to 15 per cent for 35-54 year-olds and six per cent for those aged 55 years or over.  

The data has sparked calls from the report author, Accenture, for suppliers to change their business models to accommodate more demanding customers. Accenture utility customer services UK and Ireland managing director Toby Siddall said: “Our energy companies, whether large or small need to rethink their operating model for the future – really over the next five years they’ve got to understand and offer new propositions.”

The report also found that millennials in the UK are three times more likely (46 per cent) than those aged over 55 to sign up for solar panels in the next five years. Globally, 87 per cent would consider distributed energy resources products.

Siddall added: “It is an exciting time for organisations and customers to change the service and propositions that come out of the energy sector.

“The millennials are more engaged in their energy supply and services. They provide more opportunity to grow through value added propositions. The real challenge is that the energy providers and suppliers really have to make sure that they are responding to them and improving both the effortless and seamless service that they provide and also the propositions and the creativity they are offering.”

The report, which considered the views of 10,000 respondents across 17 countries showed that 70 per cent of UK millennials would be interested in an online personalized marketplace to buy energy-related products and services, and 24 per cent of the demographic in the 17 countries surveyed are classified as early adopters for new technology and energy products.

Siddall said that energy companies now must utilise the new information available for individual customers and focus on value added services rather than the commodity price per unit.

“That takes real design thinking from the energy companies and a real sophistication around customer and operations analytics, and a willingness to leverage and collaborate to scale up with new technologies that are out there. But the exciting thing is, we can do that,” he added.

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