// . //  Carbon Neutral Consumer //  Personas

Comparing the results of the different persona groups it strikes that Andrea and Sarah show a very high average interest while Richard shows the lowest overall interest. On average Ben and Kemal have a similar level of interest. However, the standard deviation and spread across products is higher for Kemal which show that the interest varies highly between the different products and services. Taking into account the average interest and the purchasing power of the persona groups they can be differentiated in attractive and less attractive target segments for offerings of utilities.

Andrea and Ben both have a relatively high purchasing power and could be targeted directly with more cost intense products and services. A potential sales approach for the very interested Andrea should include detailed information on the offerings and a modular structure, so the customer can choose specific elements according to their individual preference. Ben in contrast should be targeted with full service solutions. He is generally willing to pay for a more sustainable offering but is not interested to get involved in too many details. The third persona group within the focus area is Sarah with a very high interest but a lower purchasing power. Since the purchasing power is expected to increase for a large proportion of this persona group, Sarah should be targeted with low cost or free offerings right now to build up loyalty for a long term client relationship.


Young, metropolitan, digital affine and sustainable
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Sarah is a 27-year-old student, living in her one-bedroom-apartment in Berlin-Neukölln. For her, sustainability is not a question of „if“ but „how“ - she only uses public transportation for her daily commute to the FU and considers herself a micro-influencer for carbon-neutrality on Instagram. Living off her student budget, she consciously limits her monthly spend and consumption.

Group size in study: 21%, ca. 15 M in GER

Sarah is generally very interested in energy efficiency and storage as well as in shared solutions. Since Sarah lives in a rented flat mainly products like efficiency check offerings are relevant for her.

In the future Sarah could move up and/or to the right of the matrix and be an interesting customer for utilities. Companies should start immediately to build a relationship with this persona through low cost or free of charge offerings in order to benefit from a loyal higher margin customer in the future.

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Middle-aged, price-sensitive and no sustainability
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Kemal is a 33-year-old carpenter, living in his rented townhouse in Paderborn with his wife and two kids. He is not specifically interested in sustainability but has read about carbon emissions in the news – he mostly uses public transportation for his family life and daily commute in the region. Due to his limited budget, he buys his food at a local discounter and flies with his family to Italy once a year.

Group size in study: 14%, ca. 10M in GER

Kemal has a high interest in selected offerings and a generally high variance in indicated interest. In combination with low average purchasing power this makes systematic sales approach for utilities difficult.

Although some of the customers in this persona group might move upwards or to the right in the matrix it should not be a focus area for utilities. However, lower cost or free services that are being offered for other customer groups can be used to increase the loyalty of this customer group in classic power and gas offerings with limited additional effort.

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Middle-aged, busy, price-insensitive and married
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Ben is a 37-year-old manager at a German car manufacturer, lives in his own two-bedroom-apartment with his wife in Munich. He is aware of his carbon footprint an tries to reduce it when possible but loves his weekend trips to Mallorca or driving his SUV to the Alps. Both he and his wife are working full-time and like to enjoy their free time by spending and consuming.

Group size in study: 24%, ca. 17M in GER

Ben is interested in modern solutions for energy storage and exchange With his living situation often in an own flat or house he qualifies for various products for generating own renewable energy

However Ben does not have the time to engage in the details and wants a full service offering Utilities could offer solutions comprising PV, storage, EV integration and a smart energy management system in a very comprehensive and full service package.

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Middle-aged, suburban, family and sustainable
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Andrea is a 46-year-old teacher, living in her own house in Gettorf. For her, sustainability is the key issue of our time - she only uses public transportation and regularly participates in Fridays for Future protest in Kiel with her children. She only buys food at her local organic farmers market and has a recently upgraded her house to be carbon-negative with a heat pump and a PV system on her roof.

Group size in study: 15%, ca. 20M in GER

Andrea is generally very interested in all kinds of products and services to reduce her carbon footprint. Mostly living in her own house she qualifies as a target customer for PV or storage installation and integration.

Since this persona is very interested utilities should focus on detailed information for each component of the solutions and the options to choose and combine the components according to her preferences. As a first step utilities should find the customers that belong to this persona group in their existing client base, a second step would be a proactive approach to the Andrea persona group on the market.

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Senior, rural, married and no sustainability
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Richard is a 72-year-old senior, living in his family home in Herzogenaurach. He is not interested in the carbon footprint discussion and still drives his 13-year-old car to town to go grocery shopping or to take his wife to the doctor. On weekdays he likes to read the local newspapers and play cards, while on Sundays he meets with his friends at a steak restaurant for dinner and drinks.

Group size in study: 13%, ca. 9M in GER

Richard has the lowest average interest compared to the other persona groups with a medium to high purchasing power.

Utilities could offer this persona group sustainable products and services that have an additional use for Richard like lower energy costs with a PV installation or heat pump. Similar to Kemal, low cost or free offerings could be used to increase the loyalty of Richard as a customer in traditional products of utilities.

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The two persona groups on the lower left area of the matrix should not be considered immediate focus groups for utilities. Kemal shows a medium interest with a low purchasing power and high variation between the tested products. Thus there is no clear indication of profitable sustainable offerings for this persona group at the moment. Richard has a higher purchasing power but the lowest average interest amongst the personas. Both Kemal and Richard are not expected to move significantly within the matrix in the short term. However utilities can increase the loyalty of these groups as customers for classic power and gas products with low cost or free offerings that are already in place without additional efforts.

By implementing the tested offerings utilities can help private customers to achieve a significant reduction of their carbon footprint. Based on the relevant carbon footprint and the analysed solutions the reduction potential amounts to a substantial amount of 48% - 80% for the different persona groups. Taking their current preferences and purchasing power into account, the expected reduction is however with 7% - 47% significantly lower. So how to unlock this additional potential to reduce the carbon footprint of private consumers? There are various approaches to ensure the realization of the existing potential like campaigns to raise private customers awareness for the need to reduce their carbon footprint in fighting global warming. Besides governments and environmental organizations these approaches can also be led by utilities themselves. Other governmental instruments include incentive programs (like carbon taxes) or regulation (like banning selected technologies). Given the current political discussions these governmental instruments are more likely to increase creating additional awareness and higher adaption rates. Overall utilities are well positioned to support private customers throughout their carbon reduction journey and with the right sales proposition can build profitable business cases from sustainable offerings.