Energy and Utilities

iStock_000012632239SmallThe DRG partners with you to help you better understand your customers, prospects, and overall market; the energy and utility sector is no exception. We understand that a number of current trends need to be considered when designing research in this industry, including:

Green Future

  • Businesses and consumers are looking for more clean/renewable energy alternatives

Government Regulations

  • Federal regulations regarding climate change and greenhouse gas emissions
  • State standards for energy efficiency and demand response solutions

Technology

  • A number of advancements are impacting the energy sector, including Smart Grid and fuel alternatives
  • Compliance regulations requiring utilities to have proper technology

Current Economic Situation

  • Fluctuating oil and gas prices
  • Growing demand for lower-cost products and energy-saving programs

Business Solutions to Meet Market Needs

With over 30 years of experience partnering with energy and utility clients, The DRG provides you with business solutions to meet market needs and growing energy demands. We have conducted over 100 energy/utility studies in the past five years, and interviewed participants ranging from building and operations managers to decision-makers at utility companies to consumer homeowners.

A few samples of research we have conducted on behalf of energy and utility clients include:

  • The DRG partners with a number of utilities to conduct pipeline safety awareness tracking surveys. This research is part of compliance requirements in conjunction with The Pipeline Safety Act of 2002. Since 2005, The DRG has conducted thousands of phone interviews among the four key target audiences: affected public, excavators, local emergency response officials, and public officials. The results are used to gauge awareness of pipelines and pipeline safety.
  • We work with a local utility to bring the Voice of their Customers to the forefront of their business decisions and strategies. There are two separate surveys as part of this research program. The first is an ongoing web survey to gather feedback on recent service interactions customers have with the utility company. The second is an annual telephone survey to measure overall satisfaction levels with the utility. Our reporting technique incorporates verbatim comments from customers to drive home key takeaways. Throughout the year, we also meet with our client to discuss how the research insights impact their business. To help them launch results, we utilize an insights calendar to keep teams on target for reaching their goals.
  • The DRG conducted a website usability study for a utility who was introducing an online billing system for their customers. A DRG Moderator interviewed the utility’s customers individually, and as part of the interview, participants were asked to complete specific tasks on the website. Usability software was used to track participants’ actions/clicks on the website and to record their facial expressions. Our report included information on customer ‘likes’ regarding site aesthetics, usability and security, and highlighted improvement areas where participants showed confusion. We also made recommendations based on customers’ feedback for additional features they would like to see improved or added.
  • A large utility conducted a targeted marketing campaign to encourage residents to use natural gas. The DRG completed telephone in-depth interviews with area residents to understand the potential barriers to considering natural gas usage. The research also uncovered customer perceptions about both benefits and drawbacks, and provided insight into customers’ reactions to the existing marketing campaign. Our client was able to use the insights to optimize marketing efforts, make improvements to their website content, and improve training for their sales team.