Less than 25% of consumers engaged in smart grid

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A web-based survey by Pike Research of more than 1,000 U.S. energy consumers reveals some startling statistics that could be affecting the momentum of smart grid rollouts across the nation.

As utilities continue to invest in new infrastructure technology to transform their power grids, they struggle to communicate effectively to consumers the benefits and long-term possibilities of smart grids.

This is a difficult feat when, according to Pike's survey, 30 percent of respondents are unfamiliar with smart grids let alone the nearly one-fourth (24 percent) of respondents unfamiliar with smart meters.

Although there are organizations like the Department of Energy and the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative who have ongoing efforts to educate customers, the responsible parties also include utilities and other smart grid stakeholders who must find simple but effective solutions to engaging customers.

The bright side is that 73 percent of consumers are concerned about how electricity costs fit into their monthly budgets and want to learn more about energy management making them seemingly easy targets for getting their buy-in on the benefits of smart grid.

However, less than 50 percent are actually doing anything to manage their home's energy use. It will be up to utilities to engage and spark an interest in smart grid that will create a buzz and excitement that will lead to end user acceptance of smart grid and action on energy management.

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