Did you know that tapping into your customers’ intrinsic motivations will have a more sustainable impact than offering them small financial incentives? For energy and water suppliers that need to find ways of motivating their customers to save resources, especially at peak times, this will come as good news!

Last November Octopus Energy introduced Saving Sessions – rewarding its customers with smart meters for using less energy at peak times. During the sessions, which ran until March 2023, customers earned Octo Points for every kilowatt unit of electricity they saved compared to their usual demand at that time. There were 8 OctoPoints to a penny, which basically equated to £3 for every unit of kWh saved, and these could be redeemed for account credit.  

In its first saving session, which took place between 5-6pm on 15 November, Octopus Energy claims 200,000 households reduced their electricity use by a collective 108MW. It claims its second “Saving Sessions” trial saw customers reduce their energy demand by a collective 112MW.1

The Saving Sessions scheme is an example of an extrinsic reward program. An extrinsic reward is a physical reward that’s given to someone for completing a task. The opposite of extrinsic reward is intrinsic – where a person is motivated by something inside of them – a personal want or need. Both extrinsic and intrinsic reward programs tap into people’s motivations to inspire them to behave in specific ways. 

Did Octopus Energy’s financial incentive work? Can it be repeated with sustained results?

Octopus Energy has stated that the 200,000 households that took part in the first saving session, “received well over £1 for the one-hour shift” while” the top 5 percent of participants earned an average of £4.27.”2 However, customers across the media and social media complained about the minimal savings accrued, claiming it was literally a matter of pence per session and a couple of pounds over a number of sessions. Some people suggested they’d already opted out of future sessions as the effort was not worth the reward. 

What’s the solution?

The best way to get people to reduce the amount of electricity they use is to appeal to their intrinsic motivations. How about telling them everyone’s got to do their bit towards helping to save the planet, and if they reduce their energy consumption it means we won’t have to switch on a coal power station tonight to deal with demand?  

Our tailored customer engagement platform enables utilities to reach out to customers at the right time, via the right channels, with the right messaging – tailored with words and personalized insights generated by the platform that taps into people’s intrinsic motivations. Find out more about our multi-channel approach and discover why it is so effective. 

What’s more, we also have the means to calculate individual savings which can be communicated effectively to each customer. And it’s more cost effective than a cash incentive! 

Proven results and proven impact

Providing utility customers with personalized tips and advice on how to reduce their consumption is proven to produce a clear shift in customer engagement with their supplier and motivates behavioral changes that can generate water and energy savings of up to 3% a year. Our annual ‘results survey ‘of customers on our engagement programs demonstrated clear and encouraging results.

  • 65% changed their behavior in order to reduce electricity and water consumption
  • 87% of respondents said that as a result of our Home Reports, they had taken steps to reduce their energy and water consumption.
  • 47% had seen a reduction in energy and water consumption in their next bill.

Discover more about our customer engagement programs and survey results

How will you motivate your energy customers to reduce their consumption at peak times? Why not tap into their intrinsic motivations with a customer engagement program. Get in touch today to find out more. 

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