Consumers in the United States and Canada are increasingly signaling their readiness to help meet the aggressive decarbonization goals being set by governments and their electricity providers, according to the latest report from the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC).
However, the “2022 State of the Consumer” report also revealed that consumers — especially communities of color, lower-income consumers and renters — continue to need support from their electric providers and other industry stakeholders to gain equitable access to clean energy opportunities.
The new report highlights the major themes that emerged from SECC’s 2021 consumer research and two third-party studies, ACEEE’s research on energy equity and The Brattle Group’s The Customer Action Pathway to National Decarbonization. SECC’s research in 2021included a groundbreaking paper on racial disparities in energy, new research into electric vehicles, an in-depth look at residential renters and more.
From these studies, SECC developed six themes on what consumers want today:
1. Consumers are ready to take action to help meet decarbonization goals.
2. Consumers are most likely to invest in smart energy technologies that are easy to use and demonstrate clear value.
3. Consumers increasingly expect a high degree of personalization in their interactions with energy providers.
4. Consumers are inclined to trust their energy providers to help them manage their energy and protect their data.
6. Consumers respond favorably to innovative utility partnerships.
The new report is designed to help industry stakeholders — including utilities, consumer advocates, solution providers and regulators – better understand today’s consumers and develop programs, services, policies and technologies that meet their needs more effectively.
The “2022 State of the Consumer” report can be downloaded by SECC members here and is available to the media on request. The research team — along with guests from Opinion Dynamics, ACEEE and The Brattle Group — will host a one-hour webinar on the report’s themes on Thursday, April 7 at 1 p.m. (ET).