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Energy Efficiency Can Lead to Retail Sales

CE retailers could leverage consumer desire to save money

June 22, 2011 By Ben Arnold, CEA’s Senior Research Analyst
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As the summer wears on and we all look for ways to stay cool, the topic of electricity consumption is sure to be a topic of hot conversation in many households.With outages a real possibility in most communities - due to wide spread use of air conditioners and other appliances - many consumers are looking for ways to curtail consumption.

But to what extent are consumers actively trying to use less energy? CEA’s recent study "Powering Intelligent Energy Use” concludes that electricity consumption, especially related to electronics, is a major concern among most consumers.

The desire to reduce monthly electricity costs is the primary driver in saving energy. When asked about concerns related to electricity usage, most consumers (60%) identified the rising cost of their monthly bill. Other issues, such as the overall consumption level in the home (49%) and region (47%), trailed. Potential cost savings is a strong motivator in getting consumers to change their habits to reduce their overall energy consumption footprint. Can this mindset, though, influence product purchasing?

The Big Green Purchase Motivator

With many American consumers seeking to lower the cost of their electric bills, opportunities exist for electronics dealers to sell innovative solutions. For instance, most consumers are accustomed to adjusting their consumption behavior according to their electric bill which arrives a full month after the usage cycle.

To this end, in-home electricity monitors appeal to many as a way to more effectively manage their usage with real-time information. In fact, 25% of consumers expect to buy a home energy monitor within the next three years, even though the devices have a relatively low awareness in U.S. households.

The energy efficiency of electronics products and appliances are an important purchase factor at retail.While consumers most commonly site price (95%) as their main purchase consideration, more than 80% say the electricity consumption of a device is key in their decision to buy electronics.

By comparison, consumers site factors such as brand (57%) and color (33%) as a motivating factor.For CE retailers, energy efficiency can be an effective marketing tool as it clearly resonates among prospective purchasers.Equating energy efficiency with cost savings is a strategy well utilized by those selling appliances, but has yet to be fully exploited by CE retailers. While considerations of brand, color, and size are still vital, acknowledging energy efficiency in sales messaging, signage, and other communications will sweeten the proposition for many consumers.


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