Energy providers can’t read your mind, but they can follow consumer trends.

While so much is changing in the world of energy – deregulation, renewables and widespread efficiency measures, to name a few – energy providers are looking for any hints they can to predict what their customers need and how their organization can best provide it.

What kinds of questions are ratepayers asking their energy companies, and what challenges will providers have to overcome to give the people what they want?

Will my provider help my family save energy?

As much as homeowners try to incorporate efficiency into their lifestyles to save money, they only go so far on their own. An LED light bulb here, an Energy Star appliance purchase there – while these certainly matter, significant change will only come when larger organizations get involved. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated if local governments played a bigger role in helping homeowners wrap their minds around efficiency, they could reduce everyone’s yearly energy bills by $750 per household.

That said, a recent Accenture survey found the residential sector isn’t turning toward municipalities to discover all their energy efficiency options. Instead, these families place more faith in their providers to chime in with their expertise. Between 2011 and 2015, an increasing number of residential respondents answered as such when asked, “What organizations do you trust to inform you about actions you can take to optimize your energy consumption?”

Green-minded energy customers won't let anyone stop them from saving the planet.

Green-minded energy customers won’t let anyone stop them from saving the planet.

Will my provider get in the way of me going green?

Renewable energy technology offers homeowners a chance to make environmentally conscious decisions about how they consume, not just how much. While solar panels and energy storage still have a lot of room to grow, homeowners are certain about one thing: nobody should stand in their way when it comes to adopting renewables.

A SolarCity survey revealed 75 percent of homeowners believe energy providers, specifically utilities, should not prevent their customers from installing renewable energy technology in their homes. In response, a nearly identical amount of respondents – 73 percent – are willing to switch away from utilities to retain that freedom.

To that end, deregulated providers are more apt to provide competitive electricity rates and sustainable energy solutions without putting up a fight. As the global energy portfolio diversifies in the coming years, homeowners will undoubtedly notice a good thing when they see it.