I filled my car up with gasoline the other day, delighted that gas prices have fallen by about 50% in the last seven months. But that price collapse creates big problems for some utility communicators.
Price increase communications was this year’s biggest challenge facing utility communicators and marketers, according to Budgets, Gadgets & Price Increases: EEC’s 2015 Survey of Utility Communicators & Marketers. In some cases that’s because this was the 6th or 8th or 10th year in a row that a specific utility has increased its electric prices. In other cases, it’s because prices have not increased for 20 years, and no one knows how customers will react to the planned boost.
Falling gasoline prices pose a serious messaging dilemma for utility communicators. In recent years, the cost of electricity held pretty steady for most consumers while the price of food, gasoline and entertainment rose. Given those circumstances, a staple of utility price increase communications has been, “The price of our electricity is increasing at a far slower rate compared to these other consumer goods, such as food, gasoline and entertainment.”