Utilities Develop Happy Customers With Green Energy

Regulated electric utilities in the United States can make their customers happy by offering green power, according to an analysis by NHI Publications of Atlanta.

ATLANTA, Georgia, US, 2001-12-07 [SolarAccess.com] Offering power from renewable energy facilities introduces both utilities and their customers to innovative programs that provide a ‘training ground’ for competitive markets in future, according to the November issue of NHI’s ‘Energy Competition Strategy Report.’ Pricing programs help to differentiate utilities, which serves as both a sales and a customer service strategy. “Green pricing has emerged as a vehicle for utilities to improve their environmental performance and provide their customers with product choices within the traditional regulatory framework,” says Blair Swezey of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. NREL estimates that 85 utilities in 29 states offer green pricing programs. Green pricing programs can tap into consumer sentiment and position the utilities for competition in the future, in addition to fostering the growth of environmentally friendly energy production, the report notes. It says the thrust behind some of the programs is the threat of competition. “Many utilities were looking down the road and saying we may have to compete for our customers in the future,” says Swezey. “While the move toward deregulation seems to have slowed down a bit, the genie is out of the bottle in terms of customer choice. What green pricing programs do is give customers a choice in the type of electricity service they receive.”


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