Research Shows Momentum on Sustainable Energy Transition at Risk as Consumer Fatigue Sets In 

As the sustainable energy transition enters a crucial new phase, momentum is at risk of slipping among Irish and global consumers. While households say they are more interested than ever in sustainability and the potential of a clean energy future, only 30% feel they can do more at this time to be more sustainable. With 70% of the expected benefits of the energy transition to be driven by changes in consumer consumption reengaging households is key.
Research Shows Momentum on Sustainable Energy Transition at Risk as Consumer Fatigue Sets In 
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That's according to the latest EY ' Energy transition consumer insights ' report, which surveyed 23,000 residential energy consumers across 21 countries, including 1,042 in Ireland, and which also highlights the key role the energy providers can play in helping to close the gap between interest and action among consumers on energy sustainability.

In Ireland, 78% of consumers say they are doing as much as they can to be sustainable at this time. When it comes to shifting to cleaner sources of energy, the majority of Irish households say energy providers (57%) and Government (57%) should take the leading role, with just over one in five (21%) believing individual consumers should be leading. The global energy crisis and cost of living challenges continue to impact Irish households, with 69% of Irish consumers saying they can't absorb a bill increase of 10%.

The research also identifies a generation gap when it comes to the sustainability premium of energy among Irish consumers - with Gen Z (32%) and Millennials (20%) willing to pay a premium for sustainable energy solutions, significantly ahead of Gen %) and Boomers (15%).

Sean Casey, EY Energy & Infrastructure Consulting Leader says, “After a number of years of spiking energy prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, combined with cost-of-living challenges facing many, it's not surprising that Irish households feel that they are not in a position to do more on energy sustainability. Our research finds that the majority of Irish consumers say that they've already done everything they can, with only three in ten feeling they can do more to be more sustainable."

“With energy prices beginning to decline from the spikes of late 2022 and early 2023, there is now a window of opportunity in terms of promoting and incentivizing sustainable energy behaviors at a household level. Closing the gap between their interest and action will depend on energy providers, government, and the broader energy ecosystem working together to pull every lever available.”

The Action-Reaction Paradox

The EY research also delved into consumer behaviors when it came to energy usage, finding that households are often undermining their own positive sustainability actions – in many cases without being aware of it. This behavior is not uncommon and referred to by researchers as the 'action-reaction paradox'.

More than seven in ten (72%) Irish consumers report they offset their positive energy actions with negative actions and behaviors. These can include replacing an appliance/device with a new one and continuing to also use the old one (21%), the increased use of a new appliance/device because it costs less to operate than the one it replaced (28%) or taking an action or making a purchase that helped reduce energy bills and using the savings to buy something else (31%).

"It's imperative that we redouble efforts to educate and support households to reduce energy use where possible. This can include switching to renewable energy – which is increasingly available without a premium – or to switch to dynamic plans that incentivize usage outside of peak periods of demand .”

Opportunity for Energy Providers

While 81% say that it's the energy provider's responsibility to be sustainable and offer sustainability options to consumers, usefully providers are Irish consumers' most trusted source of guidance on energy sustainability and purchasing energy products and services (44%). This gives these companies a significant opportunity to play an increasing role in powering the next stage of the energy transition.

Kyle Kirkpatrick, EY Ireland Customer Strategy and Transformation Lead says, “Our research tells us there is a real opportunity for energy providers to act as trusted advisors to householders – making change easier, faster, broader and deeper. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with new technologies being part of their energy experience – including the use of AI and Generative AI to help provide personalized advice and information about new energy solutions, and these technologies can play an increasingly important role in enabling consumers. One thing is clear: a collaborative, holistic approach to the energy transition, with consumers at the core, is how we will accelerate progress toward a fairer, greener, and better energy system that delivers more value for everyone.”

Baterías con premio en la gran feria europea del almacenamiento de energía
El jurado de la feria ees (la gran feria europea de las baterías y los sistemas acumuladores de energía) ya ha seleccionado los productos y soluciones innovadoras que aspiran, como finalistas, al gran premio ees 2021. Independientemente de cuál o cuáles sean las candidaturas ganadoras, la sola inclusión en este exquisito grupo VIP constituye todo un éxito para las empresas. A continuación, los diez finalistas 2021 de los ees Award (ees es una de las cuatro ferias que integran el gran evento anual europeo del sector de la energía, The smarter E).