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HOUSTON, TX - A motivational

trifecta of environmental sensitivity,

practicality and affordability is driving

residential consumers and businesses to

find ways to utilize more renewables and

expand energy management practices.

The survey highlights the increasing

influence of millennials aged 21-34, the

largest and most dominant consumer

group, as a dynamic force behind the shift

to cleaner sources of energy inspired by

the desire to reduce their personal carbon


This trend is really being led by the

millennial generation, whose wants and

needs are not only relevant, but

increasingly an influential factor in the

transformation of electricity providers. 

We have passed a tipping point! The

concept of reducing energy consumption

has become engrained, despite record-low

energy prices that have reduced the need

to cut costs. Seventy-one percent believe

climate change is caused by human

actions, and 65 percent now say they are

“very concerned” about climate change

and their personal carbon footprints,

climbing 4 percentage points from 2015. 


Millennials are more concerned about

shifting to cleaner sources of energy, are

more willing to pay for this shift through a

surcharge in their electricity bills, and are

also more interested in incentives for

saving electricity and purchasing related


Eighty-six percent of millennials

believe the government should be active in

setting a vision and path for driving U.S.

energy strategy, compared with 80 percent

of Gen X (aged 35-48), 76 percent of baby

boomers (aged 49-67) and 63 percent of

matures (aged 68+).

Although there is a growing

willingness among all consumers to pay a

surcharge on their electric bills for

developing sources of renewable energy,

the highest support was among millennials

and lowest favorability was among


Millennials also are leading the way in

using energy apps, with 34 percent

indicating use of software apps to be

smarter about energy consumption,

compared to 26 percent of the general


Fifty-two percent of millennials are

receptive to solar, with 60 percent noting

that solar does not contribute to climate


Forty-six percent of millennials were

extremely interested in purchasing a share

in a utility-scale solar installation that

would allow them to meet some or all of

their energy needs.


Despite an ongoing commitment to

energy management, consumers still have

not acted on their intentions to deploy

tactics that require greater effort and

investment, such as rooftop solar, smart

thermostats, and energy efficient doors

and windows. Beyond the cost barrier,

consumers fear biting off more than they

can chew in terms of taking energy-

management efforts to the next level.

Most consumers fail to see the merits

of “smart” technologies: Only 5 percent

have a programmable thermostat with

smart phone accessibility, and just 2

percent have a home automation system

that can be accessed by a mobile device.

Just over 1 in 10 (12 percent) with

basic thermostats plan to upgrade to one

that can be accessed or changed via a

mobile device or to purchase a home

automation system in the next year.

Sixty percent of those who have basic

thermostats indicated they don’t plan to

upgrade because their current device does

its job, and 29 percent say it’s too


Despite the strong interest in rooftop

solar, there are still barriers. For the third

consecutive year, perceptions of being

expensive (42 percent) and fears of the

panels not working as promised (23

percent) remained the main barriers to

residential consumer interest in solar. 


Consumer interest in sourcing at least

one additional service from their

electricity providers is growing across

generations, and this growing trust in

electricity providers could open the door

for utilities to evolve business models to

offer other services.

Seventy-five percent of residential

consumers would consider sourcing

another service from electricity providers.

About half (48 percent) of residential

consumers are interested in purchasing

energy-efficiency services from their

electricity providers; the same percentage

would be interested in purchasing Internet

services as well from their electricity


Other desired services were cable

services (38 percent), telephone services

(31 percent), home security systems (25

percent) and home automation systems

(18 percent).

Only 25 percent of residential

consumers would not consider sourcing

another service from their electricity

providers, with 48 percent attributing

“electricity companies shouldn’t be in the

business of providing these services” as a

reason, down from 55 percent in 2015. 

“We see similar trends on the business

side as we do with residential consumers,

with customers leading the way for

companies to be resourceful and

demanding greater environmental

stewardship,” said John McCue, vice

chairman and U.S. energy and resources

leader, Deloitte LLP.