Deloitte's Second annual energy management survey - reSources 2012 - illuminates the attitudes and practices that businesses and consumers have toward energy management.
The energy marketplace is dynamic, being continuously influenced by economic conditions, technological developments, regulatory requirements, and customer expectations and behaviors.
What are residential consumers and businesses thinking and doing about energy consumption and provider choice as the U.S. economy shows signs of stabilizing? Is corporate progress on energy management likely to continue as the easier tactics are implemented and greater investment is required? To what degree are consumers actually interested in purchasing energy-related products and services, including emerging technologies?
Deloitte,with strategy and market research firm Harrison Group, completed a nationwide, U.S. study to provide insights that can be useful in helping organizations make energy-related investment and business decisions.
With over 600 datasets from the Study, Deloitte has developed an online interface to answer several of the same questions posed to the survey respondents - and then receive a short report from Deloitte plotting the responses against those of the survey participants.
The online questions are designed to be a solid predictor of actual achievement against energy management goals. Complete the survey and receive a complimentary report plotting your energy management maturity.
The study seeks to uncover the actions that businesses and consumers are taking to manage their energy usage and what motivates them to adopt new practices and technologies. It also illuminates the degree to which they are concerned about energy management and what solutions they are turning to today, as well as what offerings may appeal to them in the future.
The Deloitte reSources 2012 Study captures two views. The consumer portion is based on more than 2,200 demographically-balanced online interviews. The business portion is based on one-on-one interviews with senior executives, as well as over 600 online interviews with business decision makers.
Select highlights from the consumer survey
1. Consumer resourcefulness becomes entrenched
- 94% of consumers say that even if the economy improves, they will remain cautious and keep their spending at its current levels, virtually the same percentage (95%) that said so last year in the 2011 reSources study.
- 61% believe that 'going through the recession has ultimately been good because it makes us more efficient and reminds us what is important.'
2. Charity begins at home: Ready to trim electricity bills further, but not sure how
- 83% of consumers took steps to reduce their electric bills over the past year.
- 65% say they plan to use about the same amount of electricity in the future, 28% believe less, only 8% think they will use more.
Natural gas gains consumer favor, possibly at the expense of wind and solar
- More than half of consumers would like their electric companies to invest in solar and wind, down about 10% from last year.
- About a quarter would like them to invest in natural gas, which is up six points over last year's results.
Customers want choice: Cost savings main motivating factor in making a switch
- 77% of consumers say that 'it's not right they don't have a choice in who they can buy electricity from.'
- If they had a choice, nearly 9 out of 10 cited cost savings as an important motivating factor in making a switch.
Up-and-comers have growing 'app-etite' for clean technologies
- 35% of Generation Y (ages 22-35) respondents say they would definitely/probably buy a smart energy application.
- Nearly half (48%) of Gen Y consumers say they are very interested in solar panels.
- Nearly one third say they are extremely interested in electric vehicles.
Selected highlights from the business survey
Businesses continue to lead the charge: Commitment to energy management practices intensifies
- 90% of companies have set goals regarding electricity and energy management practices.
- These goals are becoming more formalized.
- Cutting costs is still the primary motivation.
3. Energy management increasingly seen as key to competitiveness
- 85% of businesses view reducing electricity costs as essential to staying competitive from a financial perspective, compared to 76% last year.
Progress against electricity goals surges ahead
- Companies on average are targeting an average electricity reduction of 23-24% over a 3-4 year period.
- Businesses are making significant progress against these goals.
- On average, companies report being a little more than two-thirds of the way into their timelines to achieve their electricity management goals.
4. The going is getting tougher, though
- 80% of respondents report that cutting electricity costs initially is relatively easy.
- 69% anticipate that cutting electricity costs/usage in the future is going to be much harder for their company.
- Business cited internal obstacles such as staffing challenges and capital funding challenges as the primary barriers.
5. Companies willing to back green energy, if the price is right….or they can do it themselves
- 37% of companies report participating in green/renewable energy programs from their electricity providers, up seven points over last year.
- Nearly three-fourths are aware of these programs, compared to slightly more than half last year.
- Cost is the top barrier to participation.
6. Segment shifts suggest companies increasingly see energy management as a necessary strategic discipline
Transcending company size and industry sector, three types of companies emerged from the inaugural 2011 reSources Study, distinguished mainly by their attitudes and practices in relation to energy management.
- Pioneers are being pushed by customers and suppliers and have embraced the challenge (24% of businesses in 2011).
- Engagers believe change is necessary or will be regulated, but are new to the challenge and are encountering certain difficulties in executing their programs (48% in 2011).
- Reactors are mostly motivated by cost savings and less by social factors (28% in 2011).
- This year's survey revealed fewer Reactors (22%), but more Engagers (52%) and Pioneers (26%), suggesting that companies are increasingly recognizing energy management as a necessary strategic discipline.
The Deloitte reSources 2012 Study also gauges interest, perception and receptiveness across regions and demographics regarding:
- Tactics for managing energy consumption
- Measurement, verification and reporting processes
- Alternative and renewable energy choices
- Smart technologies
- Electric vehicles