For the last two decades, Shugoll Research has conducted research for utilities and non profits that focus on energy efficiency and the environment. Our studies have evaluated 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, global warming/climate change, and effectiveness of communications campaigns.
A large part of our business is answering critical questions and providing actionable direction. Here are some of the questions Shugoll Research has helped Energy, Utility & Environmental clients answer over the years:
Using a two stage research process, Shugoll Research would first conduct qualitative research (in-depth interviews, or focus groups or ethnographies) with different segments of consumers (new home buyers, home owners with older homes, etc.) to explore their views on energy efficiency and energy efficient appliances and 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 attitudinally and behaviorally the 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 was used to better understand the effect of various message combinations on consumer behavioral intent.
Shugoll Research conducted a simulated shopping experiment to closely approximate how consumers react to appliance energy labels in a real-world setting. Multiple brands of appliances and multiple models within brands were used in the experiment. Real-world prices and point of purchase marketing materials were also made available for all models. Shugoll Research prefers this type of research design over a survey because it comes closer to predicting future purchase behavior. Consumer behavior was observed, purchase decisions were recorded and study participants were asked to complete a series of questions about their experiences. Results were used to finalize the energy label that is in use on appliances in retail settings.
Shugoll Research has extensive experience conducting website design and usability research. We have aided utility companies in developing website applications such as creating a username and password, paying utility bills online and 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 application and identify changes that are needed to make the application more user friendly. Results are used to finalize and launch these applications on client websites.
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