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Energy Pulse™ 2014

Energy Pulse™ from Shelton Group is an annual study of consumers tracking all things related to energy efficiency – so you can engage them where they are and move them to act. It measures interest in conserving energy and water, exposes barriers to adoption of conservation practices and energy-efficient purchases, and provides a clear picture of American households segmented by energy conservation perceptions, motivations and behaviors.

Study OverviewMethodologyExecutive SummaryPress Release

Energy Pulse 2014: Navigating a Rapidly Changing Residential Energy Environment

The U.S. home energy landscape is primed for a shake-up – where will you be when the dust settles?

When it comes to acquiring and managing energy, American consumers have more options than ever before – and they’re interested in playing the field. So how will you woo them? If you’re a utility, you’re going to need a rock-solid strategy for customer engagement and retention. If you’re a manufacturer or builder, the time is ripe for jumping into the connected home and energy efficiency markets with both feet.

In our tenth annual probe into the mindset of the American energy consumer, we’ve discovered …

  • Which Americans aren’t thrilled with their utilities – and why that doesn’t necessarily matter
  • How many Americans would actually leave their utility if they could – and where they’d like to go instead for their electric service
  • Why consumers aren’t participating in energy efficiency programs – and what you can do to change that
  • Which home energy needs are crying out to be filled by utilities, builders and manufacturers – and how to get residential customers on board
  • What Gen Xers and Millennials say about technology and energy consumption ­­­­­– and why they may hold your success or failure in their hands

Sneak a peek. Download the executive summary for free.

There will be winners and losers in the new energy game. Utilities, builders and manufacturers can’t stand on the sidelines anymore ­­­– our data show that in this new energy landscape, a proactive strategy is a must-have. Energy Pulse 2014 can help you …

  • Disrupt consumers’ denial ­– because a growing economy and lower fuel prices have given them amnesia about why they need to make energy efficiency improvements.
  • Revamp incentives – because most consumers don’t know they exist and too many layers of red tape are keeping them from participating in your programs.
  • Invent new product and service packages to win your customers’ loyalty – because with the home energy market up for grabs, you need their loyalty more than ever.

Sample pages. Browse a few pages of the report, then download your complete copy.

Energy Pulse 2014 – page 2 | Energy Pulse 2014 – page 67

The Energy Pulse questionnaire, designed by Shelton Group, contained fixed-response alternative, Likert scale and open-response questions. We surveyed a total of 2,009 Americans online, utilizing members of Survey Sampling International’s online panel of over three million U.S. Internet users. Based on the total population of U.S. households (116,291,033), results from this study would be comparable to an RDD phone sample of the U.S. population with an overall confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval (margin of error) of +/- 2.2%.

Download your sneak peek now.

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Martha Behm



The Energy Industry Is Up for Grabs

Nearly a Third of Americans Would Switch Energy Providers; Most Want a Non-Utility Provider

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., – Thirty percent of Americans would leave their utility if they could, according to Shelton Group’s 10th annual Energy Pulse™ study. And of those, fully 64 percent would choose a non-utility alternative like SolarCity, Google or Comcast.

These numbers show that Americans are more open than ever to alternate ways of acquiring energy, and whether that’s a challenge or an opportunity depends on your point of view. And whether utilities and manufacturers survive this seismic shift in the energy landscape depends on their ability to adopt smart, proactive strategies to engage their customers.

“Utilities can no longer assume that they ‘own’ the residential energy space,” said Suzanne Shelton, CEO of Shelton Group, “especially with Millennials and minorities. The threat is not that these customers particularly dislike their utilities, it’s that they’re not at all loyal to them and are very comfortable with the idea of shopping around for other alternatives.”

So what can utilities do? The answer lies in building better customer relationships, particularly by providing attractive packages that bundle home energy control options and make energy efficiency automatic. The study found Americans clearly want manufacturers, builders and utilities to take care of energy efficiency for them. Seventy-one percent want to buy already-efficient homes and 58 percent want to live in already-efficient apartment even though propensity to make energy-efficient improvements themselves is actually down.

“A lot of utilities focus on improving their customer satisfaction scores, but the business problem they need to address is loyalty,” said Shelton. “If utilities shift their focus to creating loyalty through engagement and personalization, customer satisfaction scores take care of themselves.”


Shelton Group is the nation’s leading marketing communications agency entirely focused in the energy and environment space. The firm works with many of America’s leading utility, building products and consumer goods companies to develop marketing strategies and campaigns to leverage their energy and environmental commitments for a market advantage. That work is informed by insights and perspectives extracted from Shelton’s proprietary polling of American attitudes and behaviors about energy efficiency and sustainability.

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