December 13, 2019 – The Distributed Energy Financial Group (DEFG), has released a consumer survey report on how to best serve low-income customers in the utility sector. The report concludes there is a need for strategy in addressing utility bill affordability in low-income households.
The findings of the report show that forty-eight percent of the respondents indicated trouble paying utility bills and revealed that employed residents indicated a “higher level of trouble,” than unemployed residents.
Findings from the survey report include:
• 24% of respondents indicated they had applied for energy assistance during the past two years
• 51% of respondents are concerned about paying late fees and penalties (reconnection charges)
• 50% would choose fixed monthly bill payments if given a choice
• 27% would pay slightly higher fixed monthly payments to avoid adjustments or true ups
In result of the survey findings, DEFG states, “In order to satisfy diverse needs and preferences, utilities need a clear vision and a customer strategy that ensures that service offerings work together, yet remain simple and easy to understand.”
DEFG collected data from 605 respondents of households with annual incomes of less than $50,000 for this survey.
The full publication is available for download on the DEFG web site.