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The Impact of Millennials on the Home Energy Market

Posted by Jonathan Deesing on November 04, 2016
The Impact of Millennials on the Home Energy Market

Millennials—the biggest generation in US history—are entering the home energy market in droves. They’ll be reaching their peak of economic influence in just a few more years. But what are power companies and utility providers doing to appeal to this growing customer demographic? Possibly not enough.

Young consumers hold a new set of values than the Generation Xers and Baby Boomers that came before them: they care about responsibility, flexibility, and connectivity. Power providers that haven’t yet adjusted to these millennial energy trends may want to reconsider their strategies or risk losing these powerful consumers to other providers that have.

1. Millennials Care about Renewable Energy

Millennials are concerned about the environment in ways that previous generations weren’t. They want energy options that are clean, green, and close to carbon-neutral, meaning that renewables could play a bigger role in future energy developments. One recent Accenture study found that more than half of millennials are likely to sign up for solar panels within five years—roughly double the portion of baby boomers interested in the technology.

2. Millennials Demand Up-to-Date Websites and Multi-Platform Access

Platform flexibility is the name of the game. Tech-savvy millennials who grew up in the digital age want modern, intuitive utility websites. Further, close to 80% would like to use their social media credentials to log in to their energy provider’s website. Phone apps that allow for remote monitoring and control are also popular among younger consumers.

3. Millennials Are Excited about New Services

Providers looking to offer new technology and services likely won’t have a hard time getting consumers interested. Millennials pride themselves on being the first to try new products, so this group will be some of the earliest adopters of new energy offerings. Around 22% of millennials say they want to experiment with new technology, and a full 87% say they are likely to consider distributed energy resources (DER) products.

4. Millennials Look for Corporations That Care

Companies that want to keep millennial customers need to be socially responsible corporate citizens. Young consumers want to work with companies that actively support local communities through things like education programs and charitable donations. This tactic proves especially effective when social efforts go toward specific causes that customers care about.

5. Millennials Seek Out Smart Home Integration

Millennials care about smart home technology. In fact, the percent of millennials who have smart home devices installed in their homes is nearly twice that of the total population. But these consumers don’t just care about smart doorbells or remote-controlled kitchen appliances—they also want devices that can help them monitor energy use. The more transparency and control millennials have, the happier they’ll be with their providers.

6. Millennials Want Competitive, Personalized Solutions

Millennials make up the most diverse generation America has seen, and they expect their energy providers to offer similarly diverse plan options. They won’t remain with a company out of brand loyalty like generations before them, either. Around 95% of millennials say they’ll switch to a new energy provider if their current provider can’t deliver the personalized experience they want.

In the next few years, millennials will become a controlling power in the energy market, so providers should start addressing these millennial needs—and fast. The companies that transform their business models to target younger consumers will be the ones to thrive in a millennial-led economy.

 

Jonathan Deesing is a freelance home improvement and real estate writer who is obsessed with the solar industry. When he's not following sustainability trends, you can find him staring directly into the sun. 

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