Utility companies the nation over are talking a lot these days about the smart grid innovations that will allow for greater efficiency and cash savings for consumers. But according to a new survey by the cleantech specialists at Pike Research, utilities are not talking about the smart grid in intelligible terms to the people who matter most.
The new report, entitled “Smart Grid Consumer Survey”, analyzes consumer demand, preferences, attitudes, and price sensitivity related to four key areas with relation to smart grid innovations: smart meters, home energy management, demand response, and smart appliances. It’s based on a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults and includes a detailed examination of demand dynamics, segmented by various demographic and behavioral groups.
The survey found, unsurprisingly, a direct correlation between an individual’s level of education concerning smart grid innovations and his or her favorable views towards the technology. Of those surveyed, 56% described themselves as “not very” or “not at all” familiar with smart meters, and among this group, the number of respondents with favorable views was low. 59% of all surveyed feared that the implementation of smart meters would increase their energy bills–despite the fact that smart meters, when used in conjunction with home energy management systems, have been shown to decrease utility bills. (Though Maryland’s recent example is cautionary on this account.)
This survey’s results are largely in keeping with a recent smart grid study published by J.D. Power and Associates.
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