Are you in the process of redesigning your utility website or prioritizing which website features to focus on first? E Source can help! Our research shows that providing a positive experience for the most important website features makes a good first impression with customers and keeps them coming back.

In mid-2017, we completed the E Source Review of North American Electric and Gas Company Websites, which measures how well utility websites engage residential customers and assesses website improvements as they relate to customer needs. The utilities with top-rated websites respond to changing customer needs and expectations by providing a web experience that’s simple and mobile-optimized and offers options that are easy to read and select.

We surveyed residential customers to understand what features or tasks are most important for them to access on their energy provider’s website. Our research, conducted as part of our Residential Utility Customer Survey, reveals that customers’ top four preferred website features are the same, regardless of whether they’re accessing their energy provider’s website from a computer or a mobile device. Only the ranked importance of the features changes (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Customers’ preferred website features

Residential utility customers told us which features and tasks were most important to them from a computer and from a mobile device.
Graphic showing that customers prefer viewing their current bill from a computer and reporting a power outage or gas leak from their mobile devices

About the Study

In July 2016, E Source conducted the Residential Utility Customer Survey, which surveyed a representative sample of 1,029 residential utility customers about various in-home technologies. Respondents had to meet the following criteria:

  • 18 years or older
  • Responsible for paying household bills
  • From the US or Canada
  • Don’t work in market research or at a utility

We didn’t weight the results, but we created quotas around country, region, income, gender, and age to ensure national representation. Findings from this study informed which utility website features we reviewed as part of the E Source Review of North American Electric and Gas Company Websites 2017.

Who Is E Source?

For 30 years, we’ve been providing research, consulting, and market research to more than 300 utilities and their partners. This guidance helps our customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships, and use energy more efficiently.

Have questions about how this data plays out with your customers? Members should submit inquiries to the Ask E Source service and we’ll dive further into the data for you.

If you’d like to become a member, contact us. And to be notified when we publish more information like this, create an account and set your preferences for alerts and newsletters.

Contributing Authors

Analyst, Market Research Services

Laura Ruff Agard is a market research analyst who specializes in distributed energy resources (DERs) and utility marketing data collection and...

Senior Analyst, Market Research Services

Heather Hilgenkamp designs, implements, and analyzes market research studies. Some of the areas she focuses on are customer experience, social media...

Senior Manager, Market Research Services

Rachel Cooper uses customer insights from primary and secondary market research to help E Source members better understand and interact with...