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David joined Delta-EE in 2017 and manages the Energy Insights + service. He helps our clients understand and benefit from energy consumption and related data to improve customer engagement and transition to energy services. David is a specialist in consumer insight and data, and its application to business intelligence, proposition development, customer experience and marketing strategy. He draws from experience in multiple sectors, including most recently 5 years at Centrica as a consumer insight lead, adding significant value to customer and business alike.

David holds an MBA with distinction from the Bradford University School of Management.

+44 (0) 131 285 1773

Energy insights: how much commercial value does it generate?

Where’s the money? How big is the economic opportunity? These are the most frequent questions I get asked about energy consumption data, or ‘energy insights’. These are simple and important questions to ask but has been a challenge to give a confident response to. Customers enjoy better understanding, control, and reduction of their energy use. The economic value to energy retailers or other parties is less clear.

We can point to the potential value streams, using logic and results from small pilot studies. Yet, until now we haven’t had the evidence base from a range of strong case studies to support this reasoning. We were not alone. We surveyed industry contacts with a remit for energy insights in summer 2021. The findings showed that solid evidence is rare amongst European energy retailers. This is understandable as the market is still developing. Instead, energy companies use customer benefit, business metrics like customer churn, and smart meter rollout progress to influence investment decisions. The survey results highlighted the need for evidence to shape industry views and inform decision making. So that’s what we set out to uncover.

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The New Energy Letter: November 2021

Amongst the talk of targets, commitments and roadmaps, we must make room to talk with consumers

Technology clearly plays a central role in the energy transition even at the end of the supply chain, from decarbonising homes and transport to increasing and optimising green electricity generation and storage. But we often forget that consumers will play an equally important role. After all, it’s their experiences, confidence and ultimately choices that will largely determine the speed and scale of the drive to residential net zero.​

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Engaging different customers in the energy transition

The energy transition is a term familiar to us in the energy sector, and we might talk about the need to lead consumers through it. Yet do we adequately consider what this means for consumers and how this is realistically achieved? Even in countries with the lowest carbon footprints, there is still a range of people with beliefs from climate activists to climate change deniers.

The challenge is to bring customers on and through their own personal energy transitions, when people are at different stages on the journey with different motivations, needs and expectations. Therefore, energy companies need to have great insight into their customers to help them navigate their personal energy transitions.

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The path to energy customer engagement

I recently wrote about reframing the energy transition narrative, discussing the need to engage customers in order to bring them on the journey from having to buy commodity-based products based on price, to wanting to buy energy services based on value. But what does that path to customer engagement look like and what role does energy consumption data play? In this article I will help answer this by introducing our customer engagement framework and how it can help energy companies develop their strategies and toolkit to develop customer relationships and progress their customers’ personal energy transitions.

We break down customer engagement into four sequential stages – operation, engagement, empowerment and collaboration. We will discuss three of these in more detail later as we tend to ignore the first stage in the evolutionary process as it belongs to the past. It was characterised by a very functional, transactional relationship, where energy customer interaction with their energy supplier was largely conducted through a bill and subsequent payment, or any bill query which was controlled on energy suppliers’ terms and designed around the operational efficiency of their call centre processes. This stage has been largely resigned to history as companies recognise that power has shifted towards the consumer in liberalised markets.

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The role of customer engagement in the energy transition

Much of the energy transition narrative has been around the decentralisation of energy assets, the digitalisation of business models and the shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy generation. There is growing momentum in interest and innovation here and few in the energy sector will dispute the huge changes already underway and accelerating in the years ahead.

The predominant view is that this shift will be led by technology even at the end of the supply chain – solar and storage to reduce reliance on the electricity grid, heat pumps to replace gas or oil boilers, and EV smart chargers to overtake petrol pumps.

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Smart meter benefits: the enabling properties of smart meters to transform customer relationships

The smart meter rollout in GB has been besieged with problems, so the smart meter consultation currently underway in GB is necessary. However, completing a market-wide rollout programme is just one area to address. Stimulating innovation to unlock the longer-term benefits that smart meters undoubtedly enable and communicating these benefits and the transformational potential for customer relationships is also key to a successful future energy eco-system. 

A fresh injection to the GB smart meter rollout  

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