How much power could the consumer have? How much power should the consumer have? What would they do with that power? And what can the rest of the sector do to empower them?
How we increase customer engagement will be supported by innovation in technology and regulation. The actions and habits of the consumer will drive the European energy transition.
Paddy Young, Director, Enlit Europe
Creating a customer-centric organisation where the customer experience is the largest focus will allow companies to become more adaptable to the changing needs and expectations of their consumers.
Noëlle Fischer, Chief Executive of Blicker
Consumers must be at the core when developing energy and mobility systems of the future, as they are key to accelerating the clean energy and mobility transition. The energy system must do more to empower citizens and remove existing barriers preventing them from taking control of their energy consumption and management.
Consumers are key to changing the energy model. They can choose to consume renewable energy only; they can become part of renewable energy cooperatives; they can even do a self-consumption installation. Ultimately, their decisions are key to accelerating the energy transition.
Energías Renovables, Media Partner of Enlit Europe
Consumers are an important part of the energy transition – however, they cannot be the sole drivers or hold all the power. They can be slow to embrace change and are largely driven by price. Therefore, technology and policy have equally important roles to play.
Junior Isles, Editor-in-Chief, The Energy Industry Times (Enlit Europe Media Partner)
Short term voluntary efforts will not be sufficient by themselves to achieve drastic reductions at the scale needed to achieve the 1.5°C goal; households instead need regulatory frameworks supporting their behavior changes, at least to get emissions reductions beyond 50%. In other terms, households will use their power to voluntarily cut about half of their footprints. But they need to be induced to go the rest of the way.
Benjamin Sovacool, University of Sussex
The biggest challenge would be getting consumers engaged. Currently, not enough consumers in fully liberalised markets exercise their ability to select either the lowest cost option or the greenest option. We need a combination of regulatory led initiatives, backed up by sound technology offerings, continued societal pressure and an educational campaign on the benefits of the energy transition to consumers - how they can do good, but crucially how they can gain.
Jonathan Robinson, Energy Research Director - Power (Industrial), Frost & Sullivan (Enlit Europe Media Partner)
To engage in the energy transition, building consumers' trust is absolutely essential. They must trust the energy companies, the service providers, but also the policies and overall the economy! It is up to all the stakeholders to create a stable and motivating environment, allowing concrete empowerment. It means not only supporting consumers’ journey, but also providing the tools and resources to take the driver's seat. All kind of consumers should have a chance to get on-board. Therefore, we must also respect their personal circumstances and motivations, and never penalise those who are unwilling or unable to participate.
Marine Cornelis, Executive Director, Next Energy Consumer
Seeds of an emerging world with consumers at the centre of the energy transition are already here. Such seeds, once germinated, will play an important role in the transition – but they need the expert support of grid operators, who can act as market facilitators for secure, resilient and optimal use of all interconnected systems and sources.
Venizelos Efthymiou, Chairman of FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy, Member of the Governing Board of ETIP SNET, Partner of Enlit Europe
If consumers drove the energy transition, our energy supply would be cheaper and cleaner at the same time. As of today, consumers – or prosumers – are already driving investments in clean energy. For companies, onsite renewables and green energy procurement have become important investment areas. Likewise, private citizens play an increasing role through investments onsite or participation in community projects.
Read what some of our Italian stakeholders have to say about this What If... question:
Assium - Associazione Italiana Utility Manager
Inrete Distribuzione Energia
Click below or read the Italian stakeholders full article here
What If Consumers Drove The Energy Transition?
Prosumers and energy communities must be the protagonists of the new energy scenario of our country.
Carlo De Mais, National President, Adiconsum
The project of launching a new professional figure as the utility manager of the user is a key element in the utility sector. With professional support and with rules, certain consumers can drive the energy transition. Together with this utility manager, consumers can make more conscious and ecological choices.
Federico Bevilacqua, President, Assium - Associazione Italiana Utility Manager
A decarbonised, decentralised and flexible system allows energy companies to respond to market indications, which is the expression of consumers. Widespread digitisation is the tool to maximise the integration of local resources in a circular economy.
Alessandro Baroncini, CEO, Inrete Distribuzione Energia
The energy transition would probably be much further ahead. Consumers - as prosumers - are ready to be the basis of a new distributed, shared and renewable energy model.
Paolo Rocco Viscontini, President, Italia Solare
Consumers are ready to become protagonists of the energy transition towards a zero-emission world. The challenge lies in enabling them to choose and benefit from an efficient and distributed energy model.
Edoardo Zanchini, National Vice-President, Legambiente
The energy transition focuses on the consumer, who increasingly plays an active role as a prosumer, by participating in the electricity market. This happens also thanks to the pilot projects launched by Terna such as Virtually Aggregated Mixed Units (UVAM).
Now the energy communities demonstrate how consumer choices guide technological change, as in the past energy efficiency and sustainability have done.
Stefano Besseghini, President of The Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment (Arera)