Nowadays, the evolution of digital technologies is connected to the quick adoption by customers.
In the future, this trend accelerates the efforts by the company in design a more intuitive use of technologies for the users, despite the growing complexity (Accenture, 2017). This phenomena, above all the positive implications, simplifies the utility industry itself, making it easier to track energy consumption, both for the industry and for the customers (PWC, 2017). In marketing terms, utility is a “low involvement” product (PWC, 2014). The utility industry presents itself as too complex, leading the consumer to a lack of attention to energy tariffs.
As well the energy consumers have high switching costs due to lack of information and re discouraged to switch (He and Reiner, 2015)Information leads to a higher price sensitivity as well as attracting major attention to the services alternatives. Therefore, with the increasing power prices, customers are pushed to look for a solution to generate their own energy through solar panels and other intermittent renewable generators, or switch to more energy efficient equipment (Nieponice, 2017).The price sensitivity is further impacting the business customers, which are increasing their awareness in managing their energy use patterns.
The shift toward renewable energy as a primary source of energy and the use of more efficient usage tracking systems, bring the business customers two competitive advantages: lower energy costs, and sustainable advantage. This implies the possibility of showing one’s own interest and contribution towards sustainability issues (Willard, 2012). To support this point we can include an example such as Google, which is in the last stages of satisfying their energy needs by using renewable resources. Other well-known companies which have announced energy efficiency target for 2020 are: P, they aim to power their plants with 100% renewable energy; Walmart will reduce energy needed to build by 20% from 2010 level; McDonald’s aims to increase energy efficiency by 20% in its franchised restaurants. (PWC, 2017).Additionally, to increased price sensitivity, the sum of technology innovation and socioeconomic drivers are radically changing the customers needs, and the consequential adaptation of the industry, which is transforming into a digital enterprise (Gartner, 2017).