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Talking to consumers about energy bill reduction

Our new research, Talking to consumers about energy bill reduction, details findings from the qualitative phase of a larger research project exploring the best way to communicate with energy consumers about bill reduction and energy-saving strategies.

This qualitative research was designed to do three things: 1) test hypotheses developed through previous research into households and small businesses, 2) provide a deeper understanding of the beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of identified audience segments, and 3) test messaging designed to drive consumer action on energy-saving practices.

This new research is split into two parts: households (informed by online discussion forums involving 120 household participants), and small businesses (informed by online discussion forums with 47 small business participants).

Key insights include:

  • Households want to hear how they can control their costs through reducing their use. But they also want to know what drives their energy costs (i.e. certainty). From a message framing perspective, we recommend combining ‘control’ and ‘certainty’. Find out more in the households report.
  • Small business owners are time-poor. They need simple, clear, and easily accessible information about measures to reduce their energy bills.
  • Household consumers want short, to the point messages, and they want to hear about driving environmental impact (although cost remains the big driver for action). The phrase “a small change can make a big difference” resonated across all household audience groups.
  • For small business owners to take action, energy-saving measures must have a clear return on investment (ROI) and cost-saving outcome.

Household energy consumer audience segments include: What next (18%), Make it easy (20%), Don’t leave us behind (23%), Why bother (16%) and Not a problem (23%). Small business energy consumer audience segments include: Can’t do much (32%), Costs too much (43%) and Doing everything possible (25%).

I thought that seeking professional help would be expensive and not sure how effective they would be. Also, lack of awareness and time constraints are a few main reasons of not reaching out for advice.
– Man, 35-39, NSW, Can’t Do Much

It is fairly easy to try to be most sustainable and find appropriate info online where needed.
– Woman, 65-69, NSW, Doing Everything Possible

I was interested to know what measures can be taken to reduce my [energy] usage overall since I do work from home quite often and with the cost of living it is important for me to reduce costs where I can.
– Woman, 50-54, VIC, Costs Too Much

Read the reports for the full list of insights, strategy and messaging implications:

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