Cleantech Group™, a global market intelligence and consulting firm helping executives connect with cleantech innovation, today released a new report entitled “Utility Customer Energy Engagement: Driving Energy Savings, Customer Satisfaction, and Improved Operations”. As part of a continuing series of briefs that add insight to the firm’s proprietary i3 data service, this new piece sheds light on why utilities around the world are turning to customer engagement solutions and defines key criteria that decision makers should be using when evaluating potential partners.
We are seeing growing vendor breadth and sophistication in response to global demand,” said Greg Neichin, Executive Vice President of Cleantech Group. “While the earliest successes in this market were in North America, we are now seeing utilities in both Europe and Asia actively looking to improve their ability to interact with customers in more intelligent ways. Vendors are moving to offer an integrated suite of services that not only drive energy efficiency, but directly improve customer retention and satisfaction.
The report segments Energy Engagement service offerings into four key categories: Customer Care & Satisfaction, Behavioral Energy Efficiency, Advanced Customer Marketing, and Demand Response & Energy Automation. Though Customer Care & Satisfaction and Behavioral Energy Efficiency have seen the most active deployment to date, Cleantech Group expects all four areas to grow significantly over the next few years as leading startups and growth stage companies expand beyond their original niches and select large corporates muscle into areas adjacent to their existing capabilities.
Despite predicting an overall increase in vendor competition, Cleantech Group sees many reasons to bet on the continued success of early entrants and singles out Opower as the current market leader. In addition to the intrinsic benefits of incumbency, the report points to factors such as data scalability, “Utility IQ,” and financial viability as factors in predicting vendor success.
Opower is excelling not only because they have developed an impressive suite of energy engagement solutions, but perhaps more importantly because they have built an extensive and credible list of deployments at scale, with proven and reliable results,” Neichin explained. “We are still in early days of this market, but they remain the player to beat.
The report provides greater detail on the following four service segments, as well as Cleantech Group’s assessment of current best in class providers.
Customer Care & Satisfaction: Solutions that proactively provide customers with energy usage analyses and smart grid engagement options – turning customer interactions into opportunities for education around energy use and driving customer satisfaction and retention.
Behavioral Energy Efficiency: Solutions that focus on driving energy savings and customer satisfaction by providing customers with enhanced information and analysis of their energy use.
Advanced Customer Marketing: Sophisticated customer segmentation and messaging tools that have changed the way utilities advertise incentives, rebates, and new utility offerings.
Demand Response & Energy Automation: New in-home devices and related services that allow for the remote control and/or automation of customer energy use.
The full report can be accessed here or is available to all Cleantech Group i3 subscribers under the Insights tab.