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New Research Places Spotlight on Millennials as Energy Consumers

The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative's latest report unveils how millennials think about and engage in energy

Millennials are much more likely to participate in new energy programs and services and to place a higher value on the environmental benefits of these offerings, according to a new report from the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC).

SGCC's "Spotlight on Millennials" report is an in-depth, research-based analysis that provides guidance to energy industry stakeholders on who millennials are, what they think of their electricity providers, what their attitudes on key energy topics are and how they engage with their electricity providers.

The report found that millennials, defined as anyone born between 1982 and 1999, are much more likely to belong to SGCC's Green Champions segment, a tech-savvy group of consumers that place a higher value on the environmental benefits of new energy technology. Millennials have grown up with an understanding of climate change as an issue of their era and sustainability as a value they embrace.

Millennials are also more open to participating in new energy programs and services, according to the new report. For 17 of 18 topics explored, including solar, electric vehicles and time-varying rates, millennials were much more likely to express interest than older generations. In addition, despite being mostly satisfied with their current electricity providers, a higher proportion of millennials are willing to purchase electricity from an alternative supplier if given a choice.

These findings and more are summarized into four key implications for electric utilities and other electricity service providers on how to best engage this increasingly important cohort of energy consumers.

The "Spotlight on Millennials" report utilized three data sets from SGCC's 2016 research reports – "The Empowered Consumer", "Consumer Driven Technologies" and "Customer Experience & Expectations". This approach provided an opportunity to explore a broader range of topics than is feasible with one survey, and it enabled a search for consistent patterns across the data sets.

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