Obviously, the boiling of a market like that of energy generates buzz. This blog, like others, participates. Today, the buzz is multiple: there is the one created by innovators and start-ups to stimulate the take-off of their sales, that of energy companies wishing to renew their image with their customers, that of other energy companies seeking to mask their immobility, that of new technologies or new solutions seeking to make a place on the market. But is all this buzz useful, productive and structuring for the transition energy?
Satisfaction surveys carried out by energy companies with their customers give us valuable information to answer this question. I have had the recent opportunity to consult several of them. They converge on this point. First, for the energy consumers, the world of energy has remained uninteresting for a long time, since the time when access to energy became commonplace; it seems to gain interest now but remains difficult to understand for non-specialists. Energy consumers hear a lot of promises relayed by the press and the media and keep in mind that much seems to happen in the field of energy.
The situation is then experienced differently on the B2B market and on the B2C market.
Industrial and commercial customers are overwhelmed with proposals of all kinds to reduce their bill, their consumption and deploy renewable energies. Many do not make the difference between a company with an energy manager and therefore a specific competence and a lack of it. Many also do not know in detail the job of their interlocutor, essential condition for dialogue and generate confidence.
The media buzz is translated at worst by a disinterest, at best by a search for actors able to respond seriously to promises. They will find in their utility a present interlocutor, sometimes able to answer questions, often slow to act.
Residential customers are plunged into the greatest confusion and few actors are on their side to help them. Communications by email or via the utility’s web site impact them little. They prefer to rely on the first specialist they physically meet. If it is their energy company, interviewed by telephone or at the ticket office, they will discover in most cases an inability to answer questions and join the movement. The absence of offer will disappoint them. If it is their electrician or heating contractor, they have a chance to have concrete advice, not necessarily exhaustive, but often encouraging them to contact an energy saving solution or invest in local production .
In all segments, buzz seems to stimulate consumers, but obviously it is rarely well established energy companies who benefit from it. Satisfaction surveys reveal an image of energy providers damaged by the gap that separates them from a world imagined by consumers and by their slowness to position themselves and respond to consumer expectations.
Curiously, this buzz could benefit the more agile, often smaller and newer offerers in the landscape … what can contribute to accentuate the ruptures in progress.