Half of Consumers Never Heard of Smart Grid

smart grid

Consumer awareness of smart grids has remained flat over the last two years, with 53 percent of respondents never having heard the term “smart grid,” according to the latest update of an annual Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) telephone survey of 1,001 US residential electricity consumers nationwide.

Of those familiar with the term, 54 percent say their general feelings about smart grid are favorable; 23 percent say neutral; 14 percent say unfavorable; and 9 percent don’t know. The most common reason cited for an unfavorable rating of smart meters was a concern about electric company control over usage.

Findings of the survey also revealed that consumers favor critical peak rebate pricing programs over time-of-use pricing programs. And more consumers say they are willing to pay extra to invest in and support alternative energy than to improve grid reliability.

The Consumer Pulse Survey Wave 4, undertaken earlier this year by Market Strategies International on behalf of SGCC, determined that more than 60 percent of consumers are willing to pay an extra $2, $5 or $15 a month to support deployment of alternative energy. Less than 60 percent were willing to pay those amounts to improve reliability.

According to SGCC, a nonprofit with the mission of accelerating the adoption of smart grids, the results from the survey illustrate the importance of promoting the understanding and benefits of modernized electrical systems to all stakeholders in the US.

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