SGCC Consumer Report: Smart Grid Does More than Just Save Money

By Rachel Ramsey January 24, 2012

According to a follow-up national survey of U.S. energy consumers conducted for the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) by Market Strategies International, many non-financial benefits of smart grid upgrades are just as good as the benefits that save consumers money.

SGCC brings together consumer and environmental advocates, technology vendors, research laboratories and electric utilities to accelerate the adoption of a consumer safe and friendly smart grid.

Smart grid provides a means to achieve energy savings and increased reliability, and updates traditional power grids by carrying electricity using digital technology. They essentially take an electricity grid and deliver it to communications and computer technology, so suppliers can deliver electricity to consumers in a wider range of conditions, while also accommodating wind and solar power sources.

The report aimed to find what the consumers’ awareness of smart grid and smart meters was, their favorability toward the technology, their interest in smart grid and meter-enabled programs, the best practices that can help drive smart grid program enrollment and consumer acceptance, and the five consumer segments that represent the U.S. electric residential markets.

Awareness and understanding of smart grid are lacking, as 51 percent of consumers had never heard the term smart grid and 21 percent said they had heard the term but don’t know much about what it means.

Of the consumers who were familiar with smart grid concepts, the majority had positive feelings about it.

Potential benefits of smart grid and smart meters include ease of connecting renewable energy sources to the electric grid, reduced outages, new cost-saving rate plans, fewer new power plant investments, increased quality of power delivery, availability of near real-time energy use information and more accurate billing.

When survey participants were asked to rate the importance of these benefits, each was found to be important to 80 percent or more of respondents.

In related news, ETSI, a producer of standards for information and communications technologies, approved two new Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP) specifications from Energy Services Network Association (ESNA).

Standards-based smart grid devices and systems can monitor and save energy, lower costs, improve productivity, enhance service, quality, safety and convenience, and help in the transformation to a more energy efficient future and smarter electricity grid.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO registration, click here.

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Rachel Ramsey is a IoTevolutionworld editorial assistant, contributing news items and feature articles on a variety of communications and technology topics. Rachel has previously worked in PR and communications at The Wriglesworth Consultancy, an award-winning London PR firm. She has also contributed to the creative services department at CBS 3 and The CW Philly in Philadelphia. To read more of Rachel's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

IoTevolutionworld Contributor

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