What Consumers Expect from a Smarter Grid

By Jeremy Morris, Associate Editor, US Daily Review. What do residential electricity customers want from a smarter grid? A new video produced by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) features real people from around the country explaining the benefits they expect a modernized grid to deliver. These include:

  1. Data – Detailed information about household energy consumption.
  2. Guidance – Personalized help with maximizing new energy use information.
  3. Reliability – The assurance that basic energy needs will continue to be met.
  4. Control – New choices to manage and reduce energy expenses.
  5. Comfort – The continued freedom to keep homes well-lit and temperature-controlled.
  6. Convenience – Ease of technology use and utility communication.
  7. Cost savings – The lowering of electricity bills over time.
  8. Environmental preservation – Reduced emissions and the integration of renewables.
  9. National preparedness –The capability to meet rising demand for power.
  10. Thoughtful rollout – A measured introduction of smart grid programs.

“This video and our research bring to life the seldom-heard consumer voice regarding the smart grid,” said SGCC Executive Director Patty Durand. “We’ve found that when consumers are educated about the smart grid, they are supportive and want to know more.”

SGCC conducted the 24 qualitative interviews in April in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Chicago. The interviews comprised the organization’s most recent study, Consumer Voices 2012, and focused on residential electricity consumer attitudes toward concepts, products and services around energy and the smart grid. The list above outlines the most commonly cited themes.

Through these one-on-one conversations, SGCC sought to gain an enriched understanding of the different types of consumers defined last year by the organization’s Consumer Pulse and Market Segmentation research program. Both studies were undertaken to raise industry awareness of consumer perspectives and needs.

The video and topline summary of the Consumer Voices 2012 Study can be accessed on SGCC’s website. The full report is available to SGCC members and to journalists upon request.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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