Survey: Consumers' smart grid awareness hasn't changed since 2011

Dive Brief:

  • Consumer awareness and favorability of the “smart grid” is unchanged from 2011, despite the addition of millions of smart meters across the U.S. during that period, according to a survey by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC).
  • Although program participation and technology adoption rates are low, customers are very interested in smart grid-related technologies and programs, the survey found.
  • Utility customers are willing to pay more for clean energy and grid reliability benefits from the smart grid. Price does not appear to be a strong deterrent for customers, according to survey results. “This indicates an opportunity for utilities and others to reexamine how they approach providing clean energy,” SGCC said.
  • Utilities get a better response when they focus on specific benefits that consumers care about instead of a generic approach, the survey found. Also, utilities may be able to their revenue by offering “added value” to their customers.

Dive Insight:

The survey results point to an area that is primed for utility opportunities, but work needs to be done educating the public and developing new businesses.

“It is now time for the electric power industry to more fully understand who their customers are and what they want, and it is time for regulators and policy-makers to create new ways for utilities to take risks and help meet consumer demand for energy knowledge and energy savings while maintaining their business integrity,” SGCC said.

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Filed Under: Efficiency & Demand Response
Top image credit: Flickr user Kevin