Communicating to Customers About Home Batteries: A Lightning Round Blueprint

Posted by Dave Treston on April 11, 2019 at 10:20 AM

You may have heard us mention this once or twice: we know the energy customer. It’s true. We say it with confidence and we say it often because here at KSV, we make it our mission to know how to communicate to the energy customer—through the solutions we provide to our clients and through carefully planned, comprehensive research that spans issues important to brands and customers alike. 

Our latest bout of research uncovered insights from energy customers around the topic of home batteries. We plan to package it all up for you soon (stay tuned!), but until then, here are five things—lightning round style—that consumers want you to know when it comes to home batteries:

A different, but still useful, home battery.

They don’t really know about them. Even those that have heard of them aren’t familiar with how they can benefit from owning or leasing a home battery.

  • Our research showed that just over a quarter of homeowners (26%) have heard of a home battery, and of those that have heard of home batteries, 54% are slightly familiar or not familiar at all with the benefits.

Once the benefits of home batteries are explained to customers, however, they become a very appealing option.

  • 7 in 10 homeowners found the following four benefits of home batteries very appealing:
    • Having backup power in an outage;
    • Storing energy that can be used when electricity from the grid is expensive;
    • Helping cut carbon emissions by reducing the amount of grid power needed during energy peaks; and
    • The potential to go off the grid when combined with solar energy.

Utilities/electric providers are seen as the top source of information homeowners would trust to provide information about home batteries.

  • 51% of respondents said they would trust utilities/electric providers to provide more information about home batteries, followed at 31% by friends and family.

Homeowners would be most interested in bundling a home battery system with solar panels.

  • 66% of homeowners with solar installed on their property would be very or extremely interested in a home battery.
  • 68% of all respondents—and 78% of 35- to 44-year-olds—found significant appeal in the potential to go off the grid when combining a home battery and solar.

Homeowners aren’t quite ready to purchase home batteries outright, but are open to leasing options.

  • Given the current price tag of batteries and low overall familiarity, leasing was the more attractive option for 68% of survey respondents.
  • Over half of homeowners surveyed would prefer a lease through their utility or another third-party provider.

The bottom line: Just because your customers aren’t familiar with home batteries, it doesn’t mean they aren’t open to learning more about them. Don’t underestimate your value here: they’re trusting you, their energy company, to educate them. Be ready with clear, concise messaging that underscores the benefits of home energy storage and how it might complement other clean energy technologies, such as solar, to help them save money and energy and reduce their carbon footprint.

Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we dive deeper into these insights, and let us know: Are you already talking to your customers about home batteries?

Topics: customer demands, Customer Insight, utilities, future of energy, innovation, customer centric, energy efficiency, KSV research, market research, energy marketing, utility of the future, strategic electrification, 2019, 80x50, resiliency, battery, energy storage, home batteries, consumer research

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