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Lightening the Carbon Load: Digital Payments Offer Environmentally Conscious Utility Customers a Better Choice

Onbe’s Fall 2023 Utility Survey asked 626 utility customers nationwide in regulated and deregulated markets about sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Published on
October 30, 2023

CHICAGO and PHILADELPHIA, October 30,2023 /Businesswire/ -- Onbe, a market-leading corporate disbursements platform, just published its Fall 2023 Utility Survey revealing that sustainability is a top priority for consumers living in states with de regulated energy markets, with 67% of consumers valuing utility companies that prioritize environmentally-friendly efforts and 35% of customers want clean energy options. While competitive energy pricing remains paramount for consumers, green practices such as offering digital payouts (which can save nearly 25 grams ofCO2 compared to a physical card) create new opportunities for utilities to attract and retain customers.

Surveying 626 utility customers nationwide in regulated and deregulated markets, the Onbe study revealed that despite 62% of respondents preferring digital payment options, nearly half of all utility customers do not have a choice in how they receive payments such as refunds and incentives. Considering consumers’ sustainability concerns and preference for digital payments, offering more environmentally friendly payment options can help utilities stand out by putting the power of greener choices in their customers’ hands.

 “Now more than ever, consumers expect environmentally responsible choices from companies, and energy companies in deregulated market shave a unique opportunity to leverage sustainable payments to help grow their customer base,” said Bala Janakiraman, Onbe’s Chief Executive Officer. “By offering digital payments rather than paper checks, utilities can provide the instant, convenient, and sustainable payment experiences their customers are looking for.”

 Additional findings from Onbe’s Fall 2023 Utility Survey include:


·        62%of customers in deregulated markets prefer digital payment options

        ·    24%prefer payments apps such as PayPal and Venmo

        ·    22%prefer virtual cards

·        49%of consumers do not have a choice in how they receive a payment from their utility

·        Competitive energy pricing remains top of mind for consumers, with 56% saying it’s a top factor influencing the selection of their utility provider


Offering digital payment choices is a differentiator for utilities, making their payment programs more environmentally friendly while delivering the fast, frictionless payment experiences consumers prefer. Whether issuing an energy efficiency rebate or a refund for an overpayment, Onbe’s payout gateway enables utilities to streamline and simplify their payment processes while eliminating operational expenses.

You can learn more about Onbe’s utility solutions here.

About Onbe  

With more than 25 years of industry experience and offices in Chicago, Philadelphia and London, Onbe is a fintech that manages and modernizes customer and workforce disbursements for corporate clients ranging from mid-market to the Fortune 500. Onbe’s team of experts and technology platform offers clients a turnkey solution to offload their entire B2C payment operations, relieving them of the cost, complexity and risk that come with orchestrating these payments in-house. Backed by top-tier investors, Onbe delivers on today’s consumer expectations for instant, digital and seamless payments. To learn more, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.  



The Fall 2023 Utility Survey is the second iteration of Onbe’s monthly payments market research survey. The purpose of this particular survey is to learn how consumers prefer to receive utility payments and understand what consumers in deregulated markets value most when selecting an energy provider and receiving payments from them. Respondents were asked to complete a survey with 29 questions during September of 2023. We received a total of 626 responses with a 96% qualifying rate, collected from across the United States and from demographics reflective of national diversity. Respondents must have been at least 18 years of age to qualify for the survey; another piece of qualifying criteria consisted of respondents needing to have received a utility payment.  


Joseph Netto, Sr. Director of Communications   

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