As energy suppliers gather more detail about customers, opportunities for segmenting and selling them will increase during the next five years.
As technology such as AMR and improved information-gathering systems enhance customer data, energy service providers will be well-positioned to segment load profiles into valuable blocks for sale. According to PHB Hagler Bailly's "Energy Industry Outlook 2000," this bottom-line-enhancing possibility will contribute to the changing customer-energy supplier relationship during the next five years.
"If you make the assumption that there will be big blocks of customers who are likely to stay with the incumbent company, then those become a very nice package or bundle to buy, sell, do things with," explains Dr. Roger Gale, president and CEO of PHB Hagler Bailly.
Whether or not customers switch energy suppliers, Gale says, the way they interact with the ESP will certainly change as AMR, bill payment via the Internet and other changes are implemented.
"Put all that together and you have an extraordinarily different world," says Gale. "That's where I think the customer relationship will change. ¼ That's the only relationship the customer has with the utility, pretty much, is writing the check, or calling when the lights go out. That relationship won't be there."
Some ESPs may choose to sell blocks of customers to other energy suppliers. Gale says that's already being attempted. Customers continue to pay their bills to the same ESP they had previously, but another energy company generates the electricity.