Energy Efficiency Programs: The Gap Between Truth and Perception

A few weeks back (, I mentioned Accenture’s comprehensive survey, “Understanding Consumer Preferences in Energy Efficiency” ( The survey made five key findings on consumer opinions toward electricity management programs, which I promised to examine in future posts. Here’s Accenture’s first finding: There is a significant contradiction between consumer perceptions and their actual knowledge of energy efficiency.

Consumers around the world are strongly aware of climate change, but less than half of those surveyed are aware of the negative impacts of electricity consumption, despite the fact that much of our electric power comes from burning fossil fuels. A large majority of participants claim they understand the ways they can optimize electricity consumption, but only about one quarter know of electricity management programs that would enable them to do so.

Of those who have heard of such programs, 58 percent don’t know if their own providers offer them, while only 9 percent have actually enrolled.

And that means inertia. Even among consumers who consider themselves well-informed.

More positively, Accenture concludes that consumers do want to learn about electricity management programs, and are open to considering them as an alternative.

Energy efficiency marketers must engage and empower the “new energy consumers”, as well as educate them – starting with those misperceptions.