Suppliers ‘must rethink the way they sell heat’

Consumers could be ready to move to low carbon heat technologies if the industry changes how it presents its products and services. That’s according to a new report from the […]

By Jonny Bairstow

Consumers could be ready to move to low carbon heat technologies if the industry changes how it presents its products and services.

That’s according to a new report from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), which suggests the emergence of smart meters and ‘connected home’ data could allow suppliers to sell energy on the basis of it being a ‘heat and comfort-based package’, rather than simply selling the idea of units of fuel.

The group suggests consumers care more about their experience of using heat, than the technical details of how it is delivered.

It claims smart technology could help consumers become more aware and engaged with the various heating options available by seeing the direct connection with how this could affect them, turning passive bill payers into discerning customers.

The ETI says policymakers, regulatory bodies and businesses must drive this change in how customers see heat – otherwise it says the shift is unlikely to happen at a sufficient pace to decarbonise the sector and achieve climate obligations.

Rebecca Sweeney, Programme Manager for ETI Smart Systems and Heat, said: “A central challenge to decarbonising heat in the home is its appeal to the consumer.

“Purchasing units of fuel can be seen as a distress purchase but we have found that consumers become more discerning when engaged in activity that is meaningful to them.”

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