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8 September 2017

Millennials embrace the clean energy transition, pushing energy companies to adapt

A recent report from the consumer advocacy group Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) “Spotlight on Millennials” shed light to Generation’s Y consumption habits revealing that the Millennials are more keen on new clean energy technologies than older generations and are expected to make play a significant role within the energy transition. 

As Millennials are becoming the largest consumers on the market, overtaking baby boomers, their consumer habits are expected to redefine customer relationships between clients and utilities.

According to the “Spotlight on Millennials” report, if utilities want the Generation Y to be engaged, they will have to adapt to their clean energy technologies preferences.

Residential and community solar, electric vehicles, smart metering appliances and smart home concepts, like onsite energy storage and device remote controls, are some of the technologies that millennials are interested in.

Interestingly, the Generation Y is more willing to look at energy saving technologies through web-based tools, like reports and electricity usage tracking alerts.

In addition, over 50 percent are willing to pay for real-time information that will help them improve their energy efficiency.

Over two thirds of the participants said that they would support paying for a smart grid so that renewable energy sources were better integrated to the grid, and 30 per cent said that environmental benefits are the biggest selling feature of a smart grid.

In August 2016, a similar report Accenture suggested that 61 per cent of Millennials wanted to sign up for a smart metering tool within the next five years; on the contrary, 36 per cent of those 55 years old or older were willing to subscribe to such technologies.

According to the same report, 56 per cent said that they were seeking to install solar capacity to their homes within the same time frame.

After these new findings, Clean Technica underlined the major role that information technology will play in building a future clean energy system, as according to many analysts the ‘Digital Natives’ want to maximise technology to their benefit, for example through smart apps allowing them to be in control.

Jeremy Rifkin, who has argued the Internet of Things suggests that by building up smart grids with smart energy devices and renewable energy into one nice package, utilities will be able to be at the forefront of consumer services.

Clean Technica also stated that energy companies should try and keep the Millennials happy with their services.

Due to increased deregulation and competition, with electricity supply no longer being an exclusive privilege of energy companies (i.e. Tesla’s SolarCity), the Generation Y will have many more options available, and switch of providers will be easier if they are not satisfied with their provider’s adaptation on technology and renewable energy trends. 

You can access the full “Spotlight on Millennials” report here

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