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Market Segmentation

What is Market Segmentation?

Market segmentation divides a market for goods or services into distinct subdivisions or "segments." It is research that uncovers similar attitudes, behaviors and needs of consumers who make purchases and use products or services in similar ways and generally respond positively to a given marketing strategy. The BPA Energy Efficiency Residential Segmentation provides utilities insight into how to best market energy efficiency to individual residential utility customers, the opportunity to benefit from the marketing efforts of BPA throughout the region and the opportunity to share in marketing efforts with other regional utilities.

BPA and Residential Segmentation

BPA engaged an independent market research company to conduct a residential market segmentation study which categorizes customers into segments based on attitudes and energy efficiency behaviors expressed in a random phone survey in September 2008. The contractor was selected because they conducted similar research for Puget Sound Energy (PSE), which allowed BPA to leverage the developed methodology to cost-efficiently implement the study in the BPA region.

Approximately 2,000 residential customers were surveyed, with an adequate representation across different household and geographic attributes. For example, cooling zone, gender and home ownership sampling was done proportional to the population. A strategy of oversampling in the rural regions was employed to ensure adequate representation for analysis. Regions served by investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and the Puget Sound region were excluded from the BPA research.

The research allows BPA and its customer utilities to understand residential customer decision making related to energy efficiency. The research results will facilitate development of appropriate marketing and messaging that will inform:

  • development of new residential energy efficiency programs and services
  • improving design of existing programs
  • developing more informed marketing strategies
  • improving customer communications

Regional Segmentation Information

Results of the BPA regional residential segmentation research include:

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