Report Details Current State of Smart Grid Consumers

February 08, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Spurred on by significant investments power providers have made in grid modernization efforts, consumers are reaping the economic, environmental, and reliability benefits of a smarter electrical grid. Today, at the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative's (SGCC) Annual Consumer Symposium, co-located with the 2016 DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition, SGCC released the 2016 State of the Consumer report. Presented as an integrated analysis of what SGCC knows about smart grid consumer behavior, the 2016 State of the Consumer report builds off of the findings of more than 5,000 consumer surveys as well as the U.S. Department of Energy's Smart Grid Consumer Behavior Studies.

Committed to helping smart grid stakeholders develop a deeper understanding about how U.S. consumers think about and engage with grid modernization efforts, SGCC has identified six key themes that together characterize today's smart energy consumer. Theme 1 – Consumers are seeing the benefits of Smart Grid; Theme 2 – In some important aspects, the consumer of today differs from the consumer of five years ago; Theme 3 – Utilities need to show how they are acting in consumers' best interests to increase trust; Theme 4 – SGCC's segmentation framework provides a clear continuum of consumer engagement opportunities and approaches; Theme 5 – Consumer and industry experience indicate a path forward for Smart Grid-enabled pricing programs; Theme 6 – To date, nobody has figured out the secret for engaging consumers with usage data.

"The 2016 State of the Consumer report serves to further define consumer's interests and motivations, providing a more thorough understanding of their behavior for stakeholders," said SGCC Executive Director Patty Durand. "It's about power providers understanding their customers' behavior and tailoring smart energy programs in ways that encourage participation. Ultimately, that's how the smart grid community will further connect with consumer and help them actualize the benefits of a modern grid."