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Consumer Perceptions of Smart Grid Surveyed
May 25, 2010
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About 70% of Americans are not familiar with the phrase "smart grid," but once consumers have the definition, a survey found, there are levels of good will and expectation about the smart grid rollout.

The results come from the 8th EcoPinion survey from EcoAlign, a strategic marketing agency, and Clasma Events, Inc. It said a majority of Americans - 55% - believe 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,” stated Jamie Wimberly, EcoAlign’s CEO and author of the report. “But the report also highlighted three critical challenges: meeting consumer expectations of smart grid to lower costs or cut energy consumption; moving beyond the commodity (smart meters) to a much fuller value proposition (smart grid); and aligning the smart grid with smart communications and marketing that recognizes personal preferences and needs.”

Overall, EcoAlign reports, the survey finds consumers are much more optimistic about smart grid benefits than is 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.

"The industry has made a compelling business case for smart grid on the utility side of the meter, but we are in a period of discovery in regards to the consumer benefits of smart grid,” stated Anto Budiardjo, CEO of Clasma Events. “The report points to the need for a more refined communications strategy as a bridge to the introduction of new products and services.

The report, Separating Smart Grid from Smart Meters, was released in conjunction with ConnectivityWeek 2010 in Santa Clara, CA.

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