EcoPinion No. 20 - New Vision Required To Better Serve Low Income Customers in Utility Sector
Consumer survey findings indicate that low income energy consumers would welcome new approaches to manage their energy usage and control utility bills.
A comprehensive strategy implemented by utilities would identify low income customer segments and help consumers to move in a direction that better meets their needs and lowers the cost to other ratepayers.
Two new approaches were tested in this survey—providing daily cost information and using mobile apps—and each showed interest by low income respondents. Pilot programs are needed to test different approaches and to receive regulatory approvals.
DEFG and the Low Income Energy Issues Forum are exploring new approaches in the utility sector. We build upon what is working with regard to payment assistance and traditional energy efficiency programs. We determine how utilities could commit to customer engagement and customer-driven innovation.