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05/27/2010 11:21 AM     print story email story  

Americans Don't Know What a Smart Grid Is, But They Like it News

Approximately 70% of Americans are not familiar with the phrase “smart grid,” according to a new survey conducted by EcoAlign.

But once consumers were given a definition, the EcoPinion survey found strong levels of consumer good will and expectation in anticipation of the smart grid rollout. A majority of Americans (55%) believe that the smart grid will be of significant benefit to them. One half of all respondents find the ability to review their own energy consumption to be extremely or very appealing.

“Consumers conceptually like the idea of smart grid,” Jamie Wimberly, EcoAlign’s CEO said.

But three critical challenges are noted in the survey report: (1) meeting consumer expectations of smart grid to lower costs or cut energy consumption; (2) moving beyond the commodity (smart meters) to a much fuller value proposition (smart grid); and (3) aligning the smart grid with smart communications and marketing that recognizes personal preferences and needs.

Other findings in the 8th EcoPinion survey report, titled “Separating Smart Grid from Smart Meters,” include:

  • Overall, the survey finds that consumers are much more optimistic about the benefits of smart grid than reported in the press.
  • Surveyed consumers see smart grid as primarily a means to lower and/or manage rising energy bills.
  • About one quarter of respondents think they would use the smart grid capability either daily or weekly. On average, respondents think they would use it about 12 times per month.
  • When asked if they spend more than a few minutes analyzing their utility bills, 36% of Americans surveyed said yes, and another 24% answered “it depends” if there are big changes to how much they owe or other changes to the bill.
  • Survey respondents indicated that the most preferred method of receiving information was via e-mail (57%).
  • Two-thirds of Americans surveyed believe that only the customer should have access to and control of their detailed energy consumption data.
A copy of the full EcoPinion report is available for free at the link below.


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