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Effective consumer engagement

Consumer engagement is pivotal in achieving many of the changes in the energy system that are needed to support security of supply, the shift to a low-carbon economy and affordability, including demand side response, and successful deployment of smart metering and smart grids. Engaging with consumers effectively supports realisation of the maximum benefits from Smart Meters and Smart Grids, and that these can operate in an efficient way.

In preparation for effective consumer engagement is vital to understand the precise change in consumer behaviour needed to deliver the desired outcome – for example reduced energy usage overall, or shifting energy use away from peak times of day. Different categories of consumers respond to different types of engagement, depending on their motivations, circumstances and the perceived benefit of a specific action.

Engage understand how fundamental consumer engagement is to the energy sector in achieving security of supply, the shift to a low carbon economy and affordability. We have worked in the smart energy market since 2005 and have in-depth understanding of global smart developments, standards, technology, commercial opportunities and business innovation.

Due to our smart metering work in Great Britain, Engage was commissioned by a client to produce a research paper into the behavioural impacts of demand-side stimuli during international smart meter trials, particularly where these stimuli were used in combination with time-varying tariffs.

The report collated, benchmarked and published the conclusions of the various methodologies and technologies that were used in international smart metering trials to measure customer behaviour impact. The stimuli covered included: In Home Displays; Customer consumption information and profiles, both web-based and printed reports; Plug-in displays on individual appliances; Critical Peak Pricing Alerts; and Pre-Payment metering.

The report assisted the client in the design of their smart meter trials/pilots and ensured robust design and the identification of the most effective ways to influence customer response.