Utility smart grid sentiment increasingly positive

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Research conducted by Zpryme and FierceSmartGrid over the first two weeks of December showed that, overall, smart grid sentiment decreased slightly in December. However, sentiment among utilities increased by seven percentage points.

While utility sentiment actually increased in December, the decrease in overall sentiment was driven by lower sentiment among vendors.

"Vendors want federal governments to act on their respective budget issues (fiscal cliff and European economy), and they are still concerned with customer push back, especially in North America," contends Jason Rodriguez, CEO and research director at Zpryme.

Over the next 12 months, 73 percent of utilities expect to submit new Smart Grid proposals for budget approval and will invest mainly in four areas of investment: Distribution automation (25 percent), AMI (21 percent), advanced transmission systems (17 percent), and customer systems (17 percent). This is particularly telling because of the large AMI investment focus over the last three years.

The results of the presidential election seem to have had a positive impact with 51 percent of respondents saying the re-election of President Barack Obama bodes well for the future potential of the smart grid. – Barb