Millennials want more smart technology and renewable energy from their utilities, according to a recent study. A report from Accenture suggests that 61% of millennials within the next 5 years want to sign up for a digital application which can allow them to track their energy usage and control their household climate. In comparison, only 36% of those 55 years old or older want to subscribe to similar technologies.
Millennials are also more comfortable with incorporating social media into their energy management. The report suggested 41% of millennials connect with their energy provider through social media networks, and would be happy to use their various social accounts to reach their local providers’ portals.
Meanwhile, 56% of millennials are looking at installing solar panels within a 5-year time span, nearly double those 55 and over.
A total of 9,537 participants from 17 countries — including the US, Canada, China, Brazil, United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal — from different demographics were surveyed about these and other energy and utility issues.
The survey shows the constant technological evolution wanted by millennials, including with basic services. It demonstrates a desire for a more consumer-friendly “plug and play” style of energy service for the 21st century.
Managing Director of Accenture energy Tony Masella said companies must take these suggestions of millennials more seriously as customer tastes are changing quickly within the energy industry.
“To thrive, energy providers must move quickly to architect their transformation, build new capabilities to seize new opportunities, achieve scale and continuously innovate using digitization, automation and multi-faceted operations,” Masella also said.
Some utilities have tried to meet similar demands by millennials, but mostly not. Former NRG Energy CEO David Crane told Greentech Media that the energy industry has “chronically ignored” millennials. Crane attempted to move NRG Energy forward by adopting renewable energy and smarter technologies to entice millennials. The future of NRG Home, NRG’s solar branch, remains in a dark cloud since his departure, though.
With changing consumer tastes in smart technology, along with a warming planet (last year was the warmest year ever recorded), there is a greater need for energy providers to offer renewable energy and smart technologies. This Accenture gives utilities some advice to avoid being disrupted by challengers like SolarCity.