Energy, Utility, & Environment

Limelight Insights conducts market research for utility and environmental organizations that focus on energy efficiency and protecting the environment. With our full suite of consulting services, our team’s studies have evaluated energy appliance labeling, energy usage and conservation, home insulation, deregulation of the utilities industry, target market segmentation for utility / energy providers, customer satisfaction, global warming / climate change, and effectiveness of communications campaigns.

Limelight Insights has extensive experience conducting market research for a variety of segments in energy and utility-related industries including:

  • public utility holding companies
  • energy companies
  • natural gas companies
  • appliance energy performance non-profits
  • renewable energy companies
  • non-profit conservation organizations

Limelight Insights has conducted a wide range of research studies for energy and utilities clients including:

  • energy appliance labeling
  • energy usage and conservation
  • home insulation
  • deregulation of the utilities industry
  • the Energy Star program and a sister international program
  • target market segmentation for utility/energy providers
  • customer satisfaction
  • perspectives on global warming/climate change
  • effectiveness of energy, utility, and environmental communications campaigns

Case Study:
Engaged and Unengaged Environmental Activists' Perceptions of Global Warming

In a study on global warming, focus group research was conducted with two segments of respondents: (1) members of the public who are somewhat concerned about global warming, yet remain uncommitted to the issue and (2) those who are very concerned about the issue and are engaged in environmental causes. Focus groups were conducted across the country in the South, Midwest, and West Coast. 

Overall, the results of this study were used to identify the most effective communications approach and specific language that should be used to best convey messages about global warming to key target publics. Results suggested that the public is receptive to campaign messages about global warming, but want to know more about how global warming affects them, what they can do about the issue, and where they can get more information.

A large part of our business is answering critical questions
and providing actionable insights that can inform a business’ or organization’s direction.

Here are some of the questions Limelight Insights has helped energy, utility, and environmental clients answer:

How would we segment consumers to effectively maximize purchases of energy-efficient appliances?

Using a two-stage research process, Limelight Insights would first conduct qualitative research (in-depth interviews, focus groups, or ethnographies) with different segments of consumers (e.g. new home buyers, homeowners with older homes) to explore their views on energy efficiency and energy-efficient appliances, and to test alternative message benefits. A large sample segmentation study with consumers across the country would follow to measure consumer attitudes and behaviors regarding energy-efficient appliances, profile the attitudes and behaviors of the various segments of the population most likely to purchase energy-efficient appliances, and identify the most effective messages to motivate these segments to purchase energy-efficient appliances. Specifically, a Maximum Difference Scaling (Max-Diff) analysis would help us — and the client — to better understand the effect of various message combinations on consumers’ behavioral intent.

How would we redesign our website targeted to gas and electric customers to add self-service applications?

Limelight Insights has extensive experience conducting website design and web usability research. We have aided utility companies in developing website applications that aid consumers in creating a username and password, paying utility bills online, and instructing them on how to stop, start or move service. One-on-one in-depth interviews are conducted with residential and commercial customers in person or remotely to evaluate how they use the website or application and identify changes that are needed to make the site or application more user friendly. Results are used to finalize and launch these applications on client websites.

As a utility company, how would we go about developing a brand name and logo for two business service units that we are combining?

Limelight Insights is a recognized leader in branding research, which includes brand name development and brand mergers. For a brand name development research study, we recommend conducting a multistage project that would begin with a brainstorming session with the client project team and its branding company to discuss and generate several names for testing. Qualitative research with decision makers at small and medium-sized businesses would be conducted in order to identify the top three brand names. With the assistance of a professional designer, logos for each of the three brand names would be developed and a quantitative survey would be conducted with the same target audiences to identify the name and logo with the highest favorability.

How do we develop communications messages to inform the public about environmental issues and garner support for legislation?

Many environmental advocacy organizations need to communicate with the public, policy elites, and influencers to gain support for their causes. Limelight Insights has conducted several studies to aid in developing campaigns for clients who represent environmental issues and causes.

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