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Parks Associates: Ability to switch electricity providers and free nights/weekends plans both lead to more satisfied customers

Reliant, EcoFactor, Duke Energy, Vivint, and TXU Energy to discuss consumer engagement strategies at 2014 Smart Energy Summit, February 17-19, Austin

(PresseBox) (Dallas, Texas, ) New energy research from Parks Associates finds households with a choice in electricity provider are substantially more satisfied that those without choice, even though two-thirds with the ability to switch have never done so. The research firm will bring together leaders from Reliant, EcoFactor, Duke Energy, Vivint, and TXU Energy to discuss consumer engagement in energy services at the 2014 Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, February 17-19 in Austin, Texas.

"On average, 37% of U.S. broadband households are satisfied with their electricity plan, but satisfaction increases to 50% among households who can switch electricity providers," said Tom Kerber, director, research, home controls & energy, Parks Associates. "Consumers with free electricity on nights or weekends show similar results, with 53% satisfied with their electricity plan. At the 2014 Smart Energy Summit, we will analyze the programs that boost consumer interest and could generate higher revenues and wider adoption of energy efficiency."

The research, from a 4Q 2013 survey, shows 26% of U.S. broadband households can currently switch providers. Young consumers are more likely than older ones to switch providers, with over 40% of consumers 18-34 having switched electricity provider at least once. There are also regional variations, with consumers in states such as Texas switching at a rate higher than the national average.

"Competition in Texas is a huge success, and it's helping to redefine how consumers buy and consume electricity," said Jennifer Pulliam, Director, Products and Innovation, TXU Energy. "TXU Energy's recipe for success has been in giving customers the ability to choose a plan that fits their lifestyle, the convenience to engage how and when they interact with us, and the ability to understand and control their consumption. For more than 100,000 Texas households, our Right Time Pricing plans like Free Nights and Free Weekends do just that."

"We're seeing greater interaction between utilities and their customers than ever before," said Ted Fagenson, CMO, EcoFactor. "Consumer engagement is especially important in the rollout of energy management programs, and we're excited to share our experience and best practices from a technology services standpoint and our work with utilities in achieving high customer satisfaction for these important energy efficiency programs."

The 2014 Smart Energy Summit Session "Energy Management Programs: How to Engage the Apathetic Customer" will examine strategies to promote consumer interest in energy-efficiency solutions. Speakers include:

- Scott Burns, Director, Product Innovation, Reliant
- Ted Fagenson, CMO, EcoFactor
- Denis Garman, Category Leader, Energy Management & Information Group, Duke Energy
- Tim Lott, Director, Energy, Vivint
- Jennifer Pulliam, Director, Products and Innovation, TXU Energy

Smart Energy Summit sponsors are Speed Wire, Percepscion,, Earth Networks - WeatherBug, ecobee, EcoFactor, Lowe's, Opower, People Power, PlanetEcosystems, Qualcomm, Technicolor, Tendril, Z-Wave, AlertMe, and Schneider Electric.

Parks Associates has gathered utility leaders from across North America to share their insights on consumer engagement and their experiences with innovative programs to reduce and shift load. Smart Energy Summit attendees can to network with other utilities and smart home vendors, and event sponsors receive a concierge service that includes access to the attendee list and a meeting coordination service.

Information about the 2014 Smart Energy Summit is available at The full agenda is available at Press passes for the event are available at If you'd like to schedule a meeting with an analyst or speaker, please contact Holly Sprague at or 720.987.6614.

About Smart Energy Summit

Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer examines the expanding market for energy solutions and home controls and its impact on utilities, service providers, retailers, manufacturers, and consumers.

At this annual conference, Parks Associates analysts, media, and industry leaders evaluate new partnerships, strategies for consumer engagement, and deployment plans for energy and management solutions in the connected home.

The summit agenda features executives representing utilities, telecom and security companies, retailers, and OEMs presenting on the state of the market and the emerging consumer and business opportunities.

The fifth-annual Smart Energy Summit will take place February 17-19, 2014, at the Four Seasons in Austin, Texas.

Parks Associates

Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions.

The company's expertise includes new media, digital entertainment and gaming, home networks, Internet and television services, digital health, mobile applications and services, consumer electronics, energy management, and home control systems and security.

For information, visit or contact Parks Associates at, 972.490.1113.