Through a first-of-its-kind analysis, the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative’s (SGCC) Empowered Consumer Report has found that consumer awareness for next-generation smart energy technologies is at an all-time high, and best aligned with a smart grid customer segmentation. By surveying more than 1500 consumers, The Empowered Consumer has explored to what extent consumers are aware of smart energy technologies, their level of interest in adopting these technologies, and what reservations they have about doing so.
“As American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant funding catalyzed smart grid innovation across the country, we have taken this opportunity to explore how consumers are breaking the mold of passive consumption to become dynamic, engaged users,” said President and CEO of SGCC Patty Durand. “The Internet of Thing (IoT) has become more prevalent and it’s important, now more than ever, that energy providers understand what consumers expect from the modern grid.” Key findings from The Empowered Consumer Report indicate that:
- Consumer awareness of and interest in smart grid-enabled services and technologies are better aligned with consumer segmentation (social and lifestyle characteristics), rather than locale.
- Consumers express the highest levels of awareness for solar panels and the propensity for smart energy technologies to be controlled remotely, such as by a smart-phone.
- In terms of adopting next-generation products and services, more than 68 percent of consumers expressed an interest in purchasing a smart appliance or participating in a smart-thermostat program.
- More than 55 percent of consumers expressed an interest in transitioning to either a peak time savings or time-varying rate plan.
- Consumers are primarily interested in purchasing smart energy technologies due to the convenience they provide and their potential to reduce monthly electric bills. As the market for nascent technologies-such as on-site power storage and smart homes-is still developing, SGCC believes that the need currently exists for continued consumer education to catalyze market development.