Elevate Energy Blog

Three Key Findings from LIFT Solar’s Customer Experience Report

solar panelsAccess to solar and energy efficiency for low- and moderate-income (LMI) households is a growing priority for utilities and the clean energy industry. The latest report from the LIFT Solar collaborative, while developed as a means to inform their ongoing research, provides important insights for all clean energy delivery programs, especially those that serve low- and moderate-income households.

Elevate Energy’s Vito Greco lead the effort as the primary author of the report. LIFT Solar is a collaborative of partners Elevate Energy, Clean Energy Works, Groundswell, and Southface Energy Institute.

“Understanding your customer’s experience and motivations is fundamental to ongoing program design or optimization” said Greco, Associate Director of Solar Programs for Elevate Energy. “The lack of customer experience data is surprising and represents a lost opportunity to educate program administrators and satisfy customers at any income level.”

Key Findings from the Report

The report’s analysis of customer satisfaction data shows that administrators need to improve their communication with LMI customers about energy delivery programs.

  1. Administrators and utilities rarely communicate with LMI customers about energy programs, even when these programs successfully save money for the households served. In doing so, they lose the opportunity to learn about what works, what doesn’t work and how to better serve their customers.
  2. When energy efficiency programs do communicate with LMI customers, these customers commonly demonstrate high levels of customer satisfaction. High customer satisfaction and engagement can contribute to better outcomes for these programs.
  3. While there are common outcomes across income ranges, customer engagement practices that work for non-LMI participants may not work as well for LMI participants. Designing specific customer engagement tools to capture these variations is important when measuring customer feedback.

What’s Next?

solar panelsThis research shows a great opportunity for customer-driven innovation in the energy sector, particularly for LMI customers. LIFT Solar is currently conducting primary customer experience and financial research on participating community solar programs across the country. This research will help in developing a toolkit of recommendations and best practices appropriate for energy programs across the country that serve LMI households.

LIFT Solar is a collaborative of partners Clean Energy Works, Elevate Energy, Groundswell, and Southface Energy Institute with a goal of creating innovative, market-based financing and consumer access models for clean energy.

Want to learn more about our work with solar? Check out the Illinois Solar for All program and our solar training programs. Stay up to date with our latest news by subscribing to our newsletter.