Pike Research survey: Consumers remain unfamiliar with smart grid concepts, benefits

By: Steve Monday February 4, 2013 0 comments Tags: Boulder, Navigant, Neil Strother, Pike Research, smart grids

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BOULDER - While many utilities across the U.S. are continuing to invest in smart grid infrastructure to transform their power grids, smart grid concepts remain a mystery for many utility customers, a survey by Pike Research reveals.

The survey of 1,001 consumers showed 30 percent were unfamiliar with smart grids and 24 percent were unfamiliar with smart meters.

The survey also showed nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of consumers have concerns about the impact of electricity costs on their monthly budget and 63 percent are interested in managing their energy use.

However, when it comes to taking action, fewer than half (49 percent) said they were aware of companies offering energy-management services and fewer than 40 percent have a high level of interest in taking part in programs such as demand-response.

"The survey data indicates we are still in the early phase of consumer awareness and adoption of smart grid technologies, and consumers' understanding of the benefits that can be derived from the technologies remains relatively low," said Neil Strother, Pike senior research analyst.

"Utilities and other smart grid stakeholders must find more effective means of engaging customers with simple, affordable and helpful energy management products and services."

A free executive summary of the report, "Smart Grid Consumer Survey," is available for download at www.navigant.com/pikeresearch.

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