More and more energy consumers are exploring new, sustainable products and services. They’re interested in rooftop solar, EVs, and community-scale renewables.
However, their experience with these new solutions can be frustrating because of a gap between expectations and satisfaction. To close the gap, energy providers need to reinvent their customer operations with agile structures, a focus on outcomes, and commit to simplifying processes.
1. Investing in the Future
The energy industry transforms as consumers control energy consumption, procurement, and production. It’s a huge step forward and presents opportunities for energy providers ready to lead.
But attracting and keeping this new energy consumer will require more than just the right products. It will require a fundamental shift in thinking and approach. Energy providers must move from best practices to anticipating future customers’ needs based on specific local market conditions.
This will require a commitment to agile working, a focus on outcomes, and a willingness to streamline processes, policies, procedures, and customer channels. For more information, visit sites such as https://bkvenergy.com/.
Consumers want effortless experiences around the basics, like billing. They are eager to explore new ways to engage with energy solutions – such as pay-in-advance options, self-generation, and electric vehicles. This is a huge opportunity for providers that can leverage their data insights and digital technology to create a tailored experience that meets these consumers’ needs.
It will also require a commitment to protecting and growing the business by making contract renewal easy, enhancing win-back for high-risk customers, and tactically defending those targeted by competitors. This is a big challenge for most energy providers, but one that can be tackled with the right mindset and support from the right partners.
2. Creating New Jobs
The rapid growth of renewable energy can bring economic benefits to regions that depend on fossil fuel industries. But the shift to a green economy is challenging. Fossil fuel workers may face job loss or difficulty transitioning to new careers.
And communities that rely more on fossil fuels have greater exposure to the negative impacts of climate change. Fortunately, targeted training efforts can be effective in helping these communities make the shift to a clean energy future.
A vital part of this is to focus on communities — those currently reliant on fossil fuel industries but also have solid renewable potential (see figure below). As the energy transition progresses, policymakers should consider taking lessons from place-based energy transition policies and within the federal Regional Commission to design community-focused programs prioritizing fossil-fuel-dependent communities.
Energy providers compete with utilities in deregulated markets for electricity and natural gas contracts. These third-party suppliers purchase energy wholesale and sell it to consumers — such as homes, offices, schools, and hospitals — in a given area. This helps create a competitive market that allows people to choose the provider with the best prices while also supporting local energy generation and reducing utility monopolies.
3. Reducing Carbon Footprint
Whether through new technology platforms or a more holistic approach to energy experiences, energy providers are significantly reducing their carbon footprint. A company’s footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by its operations, products, and services.
This includes both direct and indirect emissions. Direct emissions result from an organization’s activities, such as transportation and energy use. Indirect emissions include those that result from producing goods and services, such as a company’s supply chain.
A significant part of an energy provider’s carbon footprint can be reduced by reducing energy consumption and investing in renewable technologies. However, these efforts must be balanced with the need for reliable power. For this reason, transmission is critical. It allows a power system to share capacity and benefit from the geographic diversity of renewables. It also reduces the need for backup generation and improves reliability by forcing uneconomic generators to shut down.
A significant reduction in carbon emissions can be achieved through investment and regulations. For example, a substantial shift from coal to renewables would help reduce emissions. In addition, limiting the extension of fossil fuel tax credits would shift subsidies from supporting high-emission processes and behaviors to pushing for sustainable, low-carbon alternatives.
4. Creating Value for Customers
Energy providers are creating value for customers by offering a range of environmentally friendly energy options. These include renewable energy options sourced from greener sources than traditional fossil fuels. This is a positive step forward for the renewable energy industry and can help reduce our planet’s carbon footprint.
Energy-conscious consumers have high expectations of their energy providers. They want them to provide a seamless and mobile experience, provide insights about their consumption patterns and offer ways to reduce energy usage. Companies need to recognize the needs of this expanding group of more engaged and energy-sensitive consumers, which can be tapped into by providing innovative solutions.
The world is amid an energy transition that favors electricity as the preferred final energy carrier. In addition to the global deployment of renewable electricity, we can expect a reduction of direct emissions from buildings, industry, and transport to a large extent, as well as the conversion of biomass into modern bioenergy applications and liquid transportation fuels.
Achieving a substantial share of renewables in these sectors will require innovative technologies, operational practices, and market designs. It will also necessitate new options for decarburization, such as electricity-coupled efficiency and renewable hydrogen.