Survey Identifies “New Normal” in Energy Thinking

The very smart people at Deloitte & Touche have just released the most version of their ReSource study that measures business and consumer attitudes and behaviors around energy, particularly consumption and conservation.  And while the study doesn’t have enough history to spot any emerging trends (this is the 2nd year), there is definitely a “new normal” when it comes to how we think about energy.

We Are Committed to Smarter Energy Thinking
Historically, most of our energy habits have remained pretty lazy.  We may become more disciplined when prices rise or the economy tightens, but as a rule, energy efficiency was not a priority.  This is no longer true.

  • 83% of consumers took steps to reduce their electric bills in 2011.  This is fifteen points higher than the previous year’s (68%) survey results to the same question.  Clearly, we are looking for ways to cut costs and conserve.
  • 28% of consumers believe they will use even less energy this year. Only 8% plan to use more, meaning an overwhelming majority of consumers are committed to holding the line on or improving their consumption.

These new attitudes are encouraging but we’re in the middle of a crisis, right? If prices slack and the economy expands, will we go back to our old ways? Apparently not, according to the study.

  • 94% of consumers say that even as things improve, they plan to control spending. 85% of respondents also feel like they’ve become much more resourceful in the face of current challenges.

Looks like greener leaner ways are here to stay.

We Are Pretty Impressed With Our Progress So Far
Talking about reducing our consumption is one thing, but are we backing our talk with action?  Deloitte and Touche found that many consumers have already taken steps to reduce and conserve, and they’re waiting for help with the next step.

77% of consumers believe they have taken all reasonable steps to reduce their consumption. They have received lots of great advice along the way, from friends, the media, and their service providers.

What’s Your Opinion?

Now that you’ve read about what the experts think real consumers are thinking and doing, it’s your turn.

  • Have you reduced your energy consumption over the last year?
  • Will you continue to find ways to improve?
  • And finally, like most people answering the survey, do you think you’ve done all you can?

Regardless of survey results, one thing is probably true: we all have room to improve. Direct Energy is actively working to create ways to give customers a deeper understanding of how they use electricity and how they can find ways to save.  We already offer prepay electricity in Texas, which provides detailed visibility into daily energy use, and Free Power Day in Pennsylvania, which rewards customers for shifting their energy use away from peak times.  Our customers should expect to see some new offerings in the near future that will provide even more tools for managing their energy and lowering their bills.

Thanks to Flickr user Red Jar