Articles

  • Mirka Karra

Rising energy prices: Here is what energy providers can do to retain customers

The energy crisis is a result of regional crises that are disrupting the energy market globally. In Europe the problem is acute as gas reserves are low, the output from solar farms and regional windmills are not producing enough to cover European needs, and new regulations keep nuclear generators and other carbon plants shut.


Just recently in the UK, Ofgem, Britain’s energy sector regulator, said that its price cap — under which the average household’s annual energy bill is currently (Feb. 2022) between £1,277 (EU 1,514) and £1,370 (EU 1,623) — would be raised by 54%, marking a record-breaking increase. This would mean that around 22 million households will have to take an energy bill increase of £700 (EU 829) annually.


The rising prices and price caps are severely affecting European citizens' pockets. And this translates into big headaches for energy providers who take the heat from unhappy customers. But how can energy providers stand by their customers during such times? One way to help is by giving them the tools to understand their energy consumption and identify ways in which they could be cutting down on costs.


Energy providers who have already invested in such energy insights solutions are better equipped to retain their customers during periods of high energy prices as the offered transparency and actionable savings insights are much appreciated. Below is an example of an energy provider who has invested in such a solution.


E.ON Germany & enviaM customers are using insights to navigate the crisis


E.ON Germany has been offering its customers the Smart Control app since 2019. With the Smart Control app, customers can monitor their home energy consumption in real-time and identify home appliances that are not functioning optimally. Nowadays, the Smart Control app proves to be a great tool that’s helping E.ON customers navigate the high energy prices. E.ON customers have said that they appreciate transparency in their energy usage which helps minimize unknown costs and bring down their home energy bill. No matter the size of the home or users’ knowledge on the topic, an app that offers a clear view of home energy consumption can be used by all family members and bring substantial savings and sustainability results.


Check how an energy insights app, like the SmartControl app, substantially helps E.ON customers with the high energy prices.


Source: LinkedIn. Automated translation from German to English via Google Translate: ‘’Until a few weeks ago, I thought this (the SmartControl app) was an app that would appeal only to nerds. Afterward and given the current energy price situation, I realized that the SmartControl app is noteworthy even for smaller households. And the contribution to more sustainability should not be underestimated.’’

Another feature that helped E.ON customers was the insights into power guzzlers which would have otherwise gone unnoticed. A fridge that may consume way more than normal because of an ice buildup or an old, no longer energy-efficient refrigerator used to cool down wine bottles in the basement are both real-life examples of energy guzzlers which would have gone unnoticed without the transparency brought in by energy insights apps.


Source: App Store reviews

Another important aspect for end-users is the peace of mind an energy insights service can provide to them. For example, being able to monitor which set of appliance categories or activities contribute to the Always-On energy consumption, makes users capable of always having an eye on and managing this otherwise hidden consumption.


The potential for energy savings is very beneficial for customers of both E.ON Germany and enviaM Germany. Customers have reported that when they are presented with insights into their energy consumption, they can adjust their behavior to score more savings. Bringing awareness to customers on their old dishwashers, washing machines and freezers/fridges who consume more nudges them to go for alternative energy-efficient replacements which will financially benefit their pockets. In the same context, the comparison feature comes in handy because users are able to compare their consumption with other users who share similar consumption/appliance characteristics.




Source: App Store reviews

Future possibilities for energy retailers


According to DELTA-EE, some 20M users are registered in an energy insights app in Europe at the moment but the potential can be greater given that this solution can deliver actual and solid results in times of crisis. Energy retailers can invest and enhance their portfolio of offerings and solutions with such tools to future-proof their businesses and offer real transparency to their customers.