The UK has set a world-leading Net Zero target, and more and more countries across the world are following suit. Whilst the specifics of energy and water supplier’s Net Zero commitments vary, most have set a maximum date of 2050 to achieve Net Zero. We take a look at what Net Zero means, why energy suppliers have such an important role to play in reaching this target, and how Advizzo can help utility suppliers with their Net Zero commitments and journeys.
What does Net Zero mean?
Net Zero refers to achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (Co2, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride – with Co2 making up the bulk) produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. There are two different routes to achieving Net Zero, which work in tandem: reducing existing emissions and actively removing greenhouse gases.
A Gross-Zero target would mean reducing all emissions to zero. This is not realistic, so instead the Net-Zero target recognises that there will be some emissions, but these need to be fully offset. When the amount of carbon emissions produced is cancelled out by the amount removed, then Net-Zero is achieved.
Why must energy suppliers further step up?
The four highest-emitting sectors in the UK are transportation, energy supply (generating electricity from burning fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas), business (commercial use of electricity), and residential (heating homes). Together these account for around 78% of current emissions1.
Unfortunately, but not unsurprisingly given the enormity of the task, the UK is not currently on track to even meet its previous, less ambitious target of 80% emissions reductions by 2050.
As one of the highest emitting sectors, the energy sector has a major part to play in helping get the UK on track. That’s why the topic was top of the agenda at last year’s Energy UK annual conference. In his keynote speech, Ofgem’s Chief Executive, Jonathan Brearley laid out the organisation’s commitment to Net Zero2. He outlined Ofgem’s five point strategy for the energy sector, which included an important work stream for data and digitalisation within the energy industry. In his speech Brearley recognised that data and digitalisation are “going to play an increasingly important part in the sector…but there is more to do here to make sure we as a sector maximise the technological opportunities we can and we genuinely deliver some of the market changes I’ve already described.”
And this where Advizzo can help!
How does Advizzo help suppliers track and meet their Net Zero commitments?
Nudging customers to better manage consumption and carbon footprint
Encouraging residential consumers to make even small changes to their energy consumption will make a big difference to carbon emissions. In research conducted in the US, it’s estimated that if every American household traded in just one incandescent light bulb for an efficient CFL, the reduction in pollution would be the equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the road!
The problem is, how do you motivate customers to make those types of changes? To date, energy companies mainly focussed campaigns on driving adoption of more efficient products. Recent Net Zero ambitions now recognise the need to drive more active engagement as well as behaviour change towards more sustainable consumption. Advizzo’s behavioural science based solutions leverage the powerful theory and psychology of nudging, which you can read about in our blog ‘How a nudge can help your customer save energy and water’. Using data, we surface opportunities to help individual customers and households to take relevant actions to reduce their footprint. This delivers impressive results. You can view some of the results we’ve achieved in our survey results blog.
For this sector, small changes in customer behaviour can lead to significant changes in usage. So nudging customers by using behavioural science-based customer engagement strategies is becoming increasingly popular.
Taking customers on a carbon reduction journey
Once active engagement has been established (this is a difficult first step in itself so partnering with experts is a must), our solution can take each customer on a tailored ‘carbon reduction’ journey.
The better the engagement, the more detail the supplier has about the customer and their household, and the more refined nudges become. For example, the software can provide relevant recommendations such as energy saving upgrades, smart thermostats, heat pumps, LED lighting systems, EV or solar PV installations.
Seamless integration with call and field agent tools will also empower contact centre and field agents to have more effective and relevant conversations. You can read more about this in our blog ‘How Advizzo steps up to support utilities product promotion efforts’. We can also nudge customers in the direction of a Time of Use Tariff, or encourage them to accept a smart meter.
Every step takes them further into their carbon reduction journey, helping their supplier meet their Net Zero target.
Run on a green infrastructure
Advizzo’s platform and solutions help suppliers in their own efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Our agile and configurable cloud based platform and solutions are flexible and powered by AWS ’s cloud. That means lower on-premise costs, less Capex, and a more customer-oriented flexible solution. According to new research by Accenture, if a business only opts for the lowest level of cloud integration, it can still reduce its carbon emissions by up to 84%4.
Being cloud-based means your solution is totally scalable – so you’re not using and paying for what you don’t need. And, more importantly, that Growth is not held back when customer data demand increases. You can read more about the benefits of our ‘plug and play solution’ in our Build versus Buy blog. We’ve also got a Swagger to enable your IT teams to test integration with your infrastructure.
When you consider that 88%3 of consumers want brands/utilities to help them be more sustainable and make a difference, then this is an opportunity worth capitalising on.