Resourcefulness top of mind for utilities and consumers
The 2018 Itron Resourcefulness Report, released by technology company Itron, summarises the key findings uncovered in an analysis of opinions sourced from more than 1000 consumers and 1018 utility executives, across 10 countries, five continents and all adult age groups.
The report reveals that resourcefulness — defined as the thoughtful and careful use of energy and water — is top of mind for utilities and consumers alike, who are now ready to take action to create a more resourceful world.
The survey results reveal exactly what resourcefulness means to stakeholders, including utility executives who play a crucial role in providing energy and water, and citizens who consume and pay for these resources. The report also examines consumers’ opinions of their own resourcefulness as well as the strategies utilities plan for integrating solutions that minimise waste and environmental impact, while providing reliable water and energy services.
While these two groups often have starkly different views about responsibilities and priorities related to improving resourcefulness, they also share many meaningful commonalities. In analysing the massive pool of data that resulted from their responses, the results point to several key insights:
- Consumers are worried about inefficiency and waste, and they believe that utilities can — and must — do a better job at being resourceful. Only half of utility executives believe their utilities are running efficiently.
- Virtually everyone thinks resourcefulness is important, and while there are disagreements around who is best equipped to improve it, the gap is narrowing as each group has begun to envision a larger role for itself. 58% of consumers are seriously concerned about their personal impact on the environment.
- Rates are too high and reducing pollution is a priority. The number of utility executives who say affordable electricity prices are the most important element of resourcefulness jumped 56%, while three out of four consumers say electricity is overpriced.
- When they envision a resourceful future, consumers and utilities see more renewables, connected infrastructures, big data and smart cities. Integrating renewables is the number one unmet need among utilities; for consumers, it’s the number one goal they have for utilities.
- Utilities find they’re having a harder time keeping up with the pace of innovation; their biggest unmet needs are integrating renewables and investing in innovative infrastructure technologies. Three out of four utility executives see a need to upgrade technology to make renewables happen.
- For most consumers, the primary motivation for resourcefulness is to save money, with 61% saying they would act more resourcefully if they could save 5–20% on their utility bills. This presents an opportunity for utilities to demonstrate that resourceful habits and investments can cut energy and water bills.
- Consumers and utilities both want a resourceful world, to live in smart cities and to make extensive use of renewable sources of energy. They want safer, less wasteful, and more efficient and sustainable communities. 33% of consumers think they are best suited to increase resourcefulness, while 35% think utilities are.
“It’s clear that the global dedication to resourcefulness knows no borders — virtually every respondent was aligned on the fact that resourcefulness is important,” said Philip Mezey, Itron President and CEO.
“I was equally impressed by the personal accountability expressed by both utilities and consumers when it comes to upholding best practices for maximised efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability; this cohesive and community-wide approach to sustainability is the only way forward.”
To download a full copy of the report, visit www.itron.com/resourceful.
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