According to the just-released ninth annual "Deloitte Resources 2019 Study,” the knowledge gap between business customers and residential customers related to the benefits of clean energy is continuing to widen.
While business customers are quite familiar with the economic benefits of clean energy, such as energy management systems, energy conservation, energy source diversification, renewables procurement, solar-plus-storage, demand-response, etc.), residential customers are much less likely to be aware of these benefits. When it comes to making decisions about clean energy projects, residential customers tend to lack information on what kinds of clean energy technologies are available and what they will do. While they are concerned about climate change, they also have concerns over the initial cost of a project.
Businesses are upping the ante in managing resources, but cost and complexity still hold back residential consumers, the report states.
According to the report, "Businesses and residential consumers of electricity generally agree on the need to address climate change and reduce their carbon footprints. And both segments are interested in new and evolving technologies and applications to help them manage resources and use cleaner energy sources. But beyond that, the two groups diverge. Residential consumers are circling in a holding pattern, sometimes stymied by costs (time- and budget-related) or by the complexity or lack of options, while businesses are moving resolutely forward, becoming more sophisticated, achieving success, and upping the ante."
The report adds, "Residential customers are doing the best they can, but for many of them, the value proposition either isn't there or isn't clear."
For example, 34 percent of residential customers who stated they would not be interested in solar-plus-storage cited the reason for their lack of interest as being "uncertainty about the benefits."
According to the report, the most important key to closing the gap between business customer knowledge and residential customer knowledge of clean energy benefits is education, specifically providing information on costs and cost savings.
In addition, with the plethora of communication technologies available today, electrical contractors and others who are seeking to make deeper inroads into the residential clean energy market can reach these customers in a wide variety of ways.