An in-depth study done by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative finds that about two thirds of the American population are likely to use smart meter data for energy management. However, smart grid remains low: about half say they have never heard the term.
The Consumer Pulse and Market Segmentation Study finds that although few of those who know about the smart grid oppose it, very few really understand the potential benefits of the technology. Yet after hearing basic descriptions, most consumers do support smart grid and smart meter rollout.
- Initial consumer interest in energy management, dynamic pricing, and demand response is evident, providing a potential foundation for smart grid acceptance.
- Almost half of consumers say they would participate in Time of Use pricing.
- Six-in-ten say they would participate in Critical Peak Rebate, with regional differences.
- To access energy data, consumers prefer an in-home device over a website, but only if the device is free. In the case of a $100 device, 56 percent chose the free website.
- Messages about saving money, reliable power/timely restoration and avoiding energy waste were the most effective (80% Somewhat/Strongly Increase Support) of seven positive messages consumers were asked to evaluate.
“Continued low awareness is a cause for concern,” the study states. “Smart grid implementation requires a huge investment at a time of economic hardship.”
The study also segments consumers into five groups, with characteristics and marketing opportunities (more of this is a subsequent post.)
The study of 1,200 respondents was weighted by age, ethnicity, gender and region to align with national population parameters.