There was an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald today discussing whether Door to Door sales for energy contracts should be banned. As background, AGL withdrew from unsolicited door to door sales in 2013. From a public policy perspective, there is likely to be increased discussion about whether governments should consider prohibiting certain types of door to door sales or embracing the adoption of a 'Do Not Knock' register. The following points are worth noting in my view:
- Independent research commissioned by AGL and conducted by AMR, has shown that 69 percent of energy decision-makers have negative attitudes towards energy door-to-door sales people. Furthermore, only six percent of respondents reported having a positive experience the last time an energy door-to-door sales person approached them. Of those respondents stating it was a negative experience, 67 percent felt the experience was also intrusive.
- As part of the AEMC's Review of Competition in 2016, Newgate Research found that, 'Consistent with 2015 results, the internet was the most preferred source of information' (for energy).
- Increasingly consumers are utilising new ways of procuring their energy. This includes comparison websites (such as www.energymadeeasy.gov.au) for selecting the best grid-based energy deals for their circumstances and new technologies such as solar, digital metering, energy management systems and battery storage.
- Traditional business models are evolving to embrace technology and meet new consumer expectations. As an example, AGL recently announced an indicative $300 million capital expenditure program over three years to drive the digital transformation of the customers’ experience.