The Year of Smart Grid Consumer Engagement

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Opportunities abound in 2013 for utilities to ramp up their consumer smart grid outreach and education.

Since 2012, the opportunity for customer engagement has only increased. Armed with facts and research, the industry can better educate its customers.

Research by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) has found that the more consumers are educated about and engaged in the smart grid, the more they support it.

According to the SGCC, just some of the quantitative benefits consumers could see from a fully-realized smart grid include:

  • An increase in grid efficiency of 9 percent by 2030
  • $42 billion in energy savings the first year; $48 billion in year five; $65 billion in year 15; and $102 billion in year 30
  • 423 billion kilowatt-hours per year in energy savings -- or enough to power Las Vegas 207 times over

Other areas of importance to customers that utilities should consider when providing outreach and education, as revealed in SGCC research, include:

  • Consumers are willing to pay for smart grid benefits like outage restoration after such weather events as Superstorm Sandy.
  • Of those consumers educated about time-of-use pricing and peak-time rebates, more than half found them appealing.
  • Low income energy consumers require more education on electricity grid modernization technology.

As tweeted by @CIOMaster (Andres Carvallo) on New Year's Day: "Happy 2013 to you all. Let's build the smart grid."

So, let's make 2013 the Year of the Smart Grid, or at least the Year of Smart Grid Engagement.

Barb