Consumers today are becoming increasingly eco-conscious, especially when it comes to cutting energy costs. Your utility app has a unique opportunity to encourage energy savings and win over customers by providing green features.
What Are Green Apps?
Green apps may well be the future of business. According to market forecasts, the green technology market is estimated to reach $48.36 billion by 2027. Your utility company can beat the competition by updating your app with eco-friendly features now.
To help you brainstorm ways to promote energy savings in your utilities app, we’ve put together these five green feature ideas:
1. Real-time home energy use monitoring
Consumers adore the ability to see their real-time energy use. How much did running the A/C all day actually cost? What about doing four loads of laundry? Having access to real-time numbers can help put energy use in perspective and make consumers more aware of their everyday choices.
Ideally, your utilities app would be able to connect to meters for electricity, natural gas and water so that users can get a holistic look at their energy footprint. Real-time monitoring can also be useful to gauge seasonal fluctuations in energy use.
2. Rewards for saving energy during peak periods
Not all energy comes with the same price tag. During peak periods, energy often costs consumers more, as there’s a higher demand. One winning idea is to reward consumers for saving energy during these periods. The ideal utilities app would notify consumers of a peak period and incentivize them to save energy.
Some apps, such as OhmConnect, give cash rewards to consumers for saving energy during select hours, as it prevents excess power plant use and energy blackouts. However, even rewards such as prizes, points or discounts could be enough to motivate users to switch off their gadgets and appliances for an hour or two.
With an energy-saving reward system, your consumers will feel good about helping the environment and have greater trust in your brand.
3. Push notifications with energy-saving tips
Energy education plays a key role in savings, too. Your utilities app can boost its brand reputation by becoming a leader in energy education.
This can be done in a simple way on your utilities app: give consumers useful energy savings tips. You should choose tips that are both handy and little-known. For example, your app could educate users about “phantom loads” and suggest buying a power strip for the family’s electronics to save energy.
Since consumers are often busy with their daily lives, energy savings tips might work best as time-based push notifications. Tips about saving energy on your way to/from work, for example, would be most suitable for typical commuting hours.
Your utilities app could even provide rewards or points for users who read the tips and act on them. By gamifying energy savings, consumers may get hooked on eco-friendly habits, reduce their energy usage and become loyal to your brand while they’re at it.
4. Fun features to cut energy usage
At the same time, you can offer your customers some digital tools to encourage energy savings. These green features can boost your app beyond just monitoring energy or learning how to save energy. For example, fun features like these go hand in hand with savings:
- Smart thermostat: This integration could allow your customers to reduce energy usage when the temperature changes or when they’re not at home.
- Shower timer: Users can set their ideal shower time and this feature can give 1-minute warnings until time’s up.
- Paperless billing: Letting your customers view and pay their bills online is super convenient and green.
- Cell phone charger alert: This feature makes loud noises when a user’s phone is fully charged, so that it doesn’t remain charging any longer than it needs to.
- Online search for energy-efficient appliances: Users can look for energy-efficient light bulbs, appliances and other items right on your app with this integrated search feature.
These green must-haves can make your app a go-to source for everyday energy-saving actions and keep your brand top of mind.
5. Location-based extras for energy savings in the community
Finally, your utilities app can go the extra mile by providing location-based services related to energy. For example, you might want to add integrations for the local weather, traffic patterns or even recycling center locations. By bringing together all energy-related needs, your app can offer added value instead of just account details and bills. In fact, location-based extras can connect with other features, such as a push notification when it’s trash day in the user’s location.
Users are interested in saving energy but often don’t have the tools to put it into practice. Your utilities app can promote energy savings and gain a loyal following by becoming an eco-leader – whether through a rewards program, handy energy features and/or energy education. Ultimately, you’ll stand out from the crowd and build an eco-friendly brand reputation for a brighter future.
Interested in building a utility app? Don’t forget to download our infographic summary of must-have green app features!