The Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC) has released a new report, “Data Analytics: Unlocking the Consumer Benefits,” which reveals what residential consumers want to know from their electricity providers about the energy usage data that’s been collected from their smart meters.
The report summary is available to the public at www.smartenergycc.org.
With smart meters now installed at over 60% of U.S. households, energy data is more widely available than ever before and is delivering benefits to consumers, including more accurate billing and more reliable forecasts and alerts. Electric utilities are also using this granular data to improve operations in several ways.
The new “Data Analytics” report aims to help industry stakeholders successfully navigate today’s data-rich energy ecosystem by clarifying what drives consumer interest and participation in data-driven programs and services.
The research began with a consumer panel that revealed common concerns and questions consumers have about their energy data. SECC surveyed 1,698 respondents, which tested consumers’ interest in three product concepts that rely on data analytics: Replace & Save, Manage & Save and Shift & Save. Survey respondents identified the benefits perceived and usefulness of each concept, rated their interest in participation and offered ideas on how to improve the concepts. The results showed that consumers want actionable data to help make decisions and energy programs with clearly defined ROI.
SECC also investigated consumers’ attitudes and expectations on sharing data with their electric utilities and third parties and found that the vast majority trusts their electric utilities with their data, a positive outcome that is a result of the strong data protections utilities have employed over the past century. At the same time, consumers do have a clear expectation that their utilities are actively analyzing their usage data in order to help them find ways to conserve energy.
The report concludes with four recommendations on improving customer engagement in data analytics-driven programs and services for electricity providers.