Utilities offer many products and services that could benefit consumers, yet the industry overall is not doing a good job of educating customers about these offerings, according to a study conducted by Market Strategies Cogent Energy Reports.

The industry has a lot of potential avenues for additional sales and customer engagement, such as solar units, rebate programs, consumption management systems and other retail energy products, yet  utilities have only attracted 7 percent of customers to these offerings. The researchers interviewed 40,000 residential utility customers to gauge individual utilities’ performance in product-usage rates and positive customer experience.

Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Market Strategies, said the potential market demand for utilities’ product offerings is more than five times greater than its current usage.

“These offerings help the environment, lower customer bills, lower utility costs to deliver service and enhance utility revenue,” Oberle said. “They are win-wins that need a much greater focus by utilities.”

Market Strategies found that the best driver for high product experience scores is customer education on the design and features of the product. The top performer in this area was Florida Power & Light (FPL), which leads in product usage rates at nearly double the industry average. Fittingly, FPL customers gave high scores to their utility for education and marketing products that fit consumers’ needs.

“The old adage that an educated customer is the best customer holds true in the utility industry,” says Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Market Strategies.