Changes for the Better: Utility Focus for the New Year

Changes for the Better: Utility Focus for the New Year Energy Federation Incorporation EFI | Energy Federation Incorporation

2020 was a tough year for utilities as they balanced the unchartered challenges of the pandemic with the daily demands of being a reliable energy provider. In the face of these challenges, utilities pivoted, prevailed, and began to make changes for the better - a trend that is continuing into the New Year. With 2020 behind us, see what utilities are prioritizing for the year ahead.

Future-Proofing through Technology

While utilities and natural disaster prep go hand in hand, many were not prepared for an event quite like the pandemic. Seemingly overnight, new stay at home advisories and health and safety measures disrupted the way society lived, worked, and did nearly everything. These changes drew attention to outdated systems, gaps in communication, lack of automation, and a general need to update technology. Some areas utilities are focusing on include:

  • Enhancement of systems to better prepare the utility workforce
  • Automation technology to streamline processes and eliminate manual work
  • Artificial intelligence and omni-channel marketing to personalize and enhance customer experience
  • Self-serve websites and utility marketplaces to increase customer satisfaction

 

Putting Customers First (and Making it Personal)

COVID-19 improved the way utilities engage with customers, and it’s only getting better. Gone are the days where customers are thought of as meters, but instead as individuals. Utility customers want a simple, seamless, yet personalized experience and utility companies are focusing on giving them just that.

Why? By meeting customer needs and offering a great, personalized experience, trust is built. A stronger relationship is created between the utility and their customers, and greater satisfaction is the result. More satisfied customers are more likely to engage, get involved in energy efficiency programs, and remain loyal.

Reaching Underserved Communities

In the wake of the pandemic, an unprecedented number of customers were left struggling to pay their utility bills, highlighting the need to improve access to energy saving programs for low income customers. LMI customers face unique struggles, spending more on energy per square foot of space than higher-income households and devoting a higher share of their income to energy.1  Utilities are working towards addressing these unique needs, offering equitable access to energy saving programs, and clearly communicating about program benefits. Many utilities have already taken great strides in this area, ACEEE mentioning several top performers in its 2020 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.2  

EFI Can Help!

For information on how EFI’s product solutions can help you reach your 2021 goals, contact us.

 

SOURCES
1 - energyefficiencyforall.org/resources/lifting-the-high-energy-burden-in-americas-largest-cities-how-energy/
2 - aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard

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