The Evolving Relationship Between Utilities and Customers

In an Energy Central article, Guidehouse explains why utilities should prioritize social science to build broader engagement with customers

As utilities shift to distributed energy systems and time-differentiated rates, they will need to evolve their customer relationships into a more symbiotic partnership. 

In an Energy Central article, Guidehouse’s Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez, associate director, discussed how utilities can build these new, user-centric partnerships with customers.

Ehrhardt-Martinez explained that customers and their priorities vary and that utilities need to understand differences in customer perspectives. She recommended companies invest in customer research by using social science.

“Tapping the insights offered by social science provides the opportunity to apply innovative new approaches to program design and communications that result in more engaged, empowered, and activated customers,” Erhardt-Martinez said.

She also explained that a customer’s emotions play an important role in decision making and that utilities should use these inevitable biases to help customers make good decisions. 

“The investment in innovative customer research, when combined with science-based communications and program design, offers utilities more effective means of increasing customer engagement, improving customer decision-making, and ensuring that customers and utilities alike maximize the benefits of utility programs,” Erhardt-Martinez said.

Read the Energy Central Article
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