However, the openness to expand power horizons was not globally uniform. While 90 percent of respondents in China, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore and Brazil would buy electricity from non-traditional electricity providers, only 23 percent in France, 50 percent in Belgium and 59 percent in Germany, agreed.
Greg Guthridge, global managing director for Accenture Retail and Business Services for Utilities says, “Incumbent utilities clearly remain the provider of choice, but new ‘beyond-the-meter’ products and services offer an opportunity for alternative suppliers. They are also raising consumer expectations about the nature and quality of service. Electricity providers will have to broaden the range of their services, be innovative and transform the way they engage with consumers. Utilities could potentially capitalize on the opportunity by working with other consumer brands to drive added value products and services.”
The survey also found there was growing interest in smart technology. Sixty percent of respondents would be interested in technology that can completely automate the management of their electricity and 35 percent would install a smart device that automatically turns on or off pre-selected appliances, a so-called ‘set and forget’ program.
Guthridge adds: “Electricity is no longer a commodity, but a part of our lifestyle choices. Consumers want energy management to be fun and family-oriented. Utilities must appeal to the new energy consumers’ changing tastes before other companies enter the evolving energy marketplace by leveraging their own consumer oriented brands.”
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. For more information visit www.accenture.com.