Smart grid perceptions slowly becoming more positive
The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) released its most recent research yesterday based on in-depth interviews with residential electric customers.
In 2011, SGCC's Consumer Pulse research reported a segmentation framework that categorized U.S. consumers. The research continued with the 2012 Consumer Voices report to explain how the segmentation framework can be used by utilities strategically to design, roll out, and communicate with consumers about the smart grid.
What utilities can learn from this research:
- Consumer concerns about privacy, health issues, higher bills, etc., have seemingly diminished. No one interviewed voiced these concerns, the research says.
- Consumers have a favorable impression of the smart grid – "not one rejected it," according to the report.
- Positive messaging is more persuasive than negative messaging. Utilities should tout smart grid benefits rather than bemoan the costs, and other perceived drawbacks, of upgrading the infrastructure.
- Most consumers want their utility to act quickly and implement the smart grid, as evidenced by wrap-up commentary from participants on how the in-depth smart grid discussion left them feeling. The sentiments were "enthusiastically positive, guardedly positive or neutral." According to the report, "none of the participants rejected smart grid implementation by their utility."