You're Not the Boss of Me

We've been looking at consumers' attitudes towards enrolling in electricity management programs, as reported in Accenture's "Understanding Consumer Preferences in Energy Efficiency" ( Today we look at the survey's third key finding, which requires a bit of introduction.

While consumers claim to be willing to enroll in electricity management programs, Accenture's global survey found that this willingness has its limits and those limits are tied to purse strings. Consumers are not inclined to change their behavior to optimize their energy usage if it increases their electricity bill.

The cost barrier is rated by 46 percent of consumers as the one which would most discourage them from using electricity management programs.

Still, another consideration is almost as important: utility control, or whether or not a utility or electricity provider can remotely limit the use of a major home appliance.

And that brings us to Accenture's key finding number 3:

While price remains a key factor to adoption, the extent of the utilities'/electricity providers' control over energy use has emerged as a potential barrier.

Consumers are more likely to sign up for a program where utilities cannot remotely limit the use of any home appliances. And when consumers are provided with some control over their home appliances, they are more likely to respond to the incentive of saving money.

Photo credit:  Some rights reserved by Chris Riebschlager (