Energy security and affordability remain foundational expectations among consumers, according to the Ernst & Young (EY) “Energy transition consumer insights” report.
The report surveyed 70,000 residential energy consumers across 18 markets over two years, including 4,000 consumers in Malaysia.
In a statement on Monday (March 6), EY Consulting Sdn Bhd shared that the research shows that 79% of Malaysian consumers are more interested in reducing their energy costs and consumption at present day compared to a year ago, by monitoring their energy usage, reducing environmental impact, and purchasing new energy products and services as the key focus areas among consumers.
“This year’s insights revealed that a critical mass of consumers has now joined the ‘omnisumer’ category. This is a person or business entity that participates in a dynamic energy ecosystem across a multitude of places, solutions and providers.
“With nearly three-quarters of Malaysian consumers (71%) say they would prefer multiple energy solution providers over a single one, and more than 25% would turn to a company such as a green charity, solar provider or home improvement retailer, over their energy provider when it comes to solutions,” said the report.
Meanwhile, it said the majority of consumers have already invested or plan to invest in products that change their energy lifestyles, of which 90% are in energy-efficient appliances, as well as in energy-efficient windows, doors and insulation; in automatic home cooling, and electric vehicles.
EY Asia-Pacific energy and resources customer experience transformation leader Mark Bennett said energy’s central role in lives has never been clearer and for consumers, the issue is now personal.
“Rising prices, security concerns and the decarbonisation agenda have hit home and passive energy consumers are no more,” he said.
The research also revealed that consumer confidence has been deeply shaken, creating potential barriers to the energy transition.
Only 58% of Malaysian consumers are confident that their energy provider will create value for them and their community in future, while 54% are confident in the affordability of their energy in the next three years, it noted.
Conversely, EY said consumer engagement in sustainability is resilient, with more than half (57%) of Malaysians willing to pay a premium for sustainable products and services — up from 46% last year.
Interestingly, 62% of Malaysians admit to a degree of “carbon tracking”, whereby they adopt positive energy-saving measures and mentally “bank” the carbon they believe they have saved, but then offset this with conflicting behaviours that go against their energy-saving actions.