Monday, September 17, 2012

Importance of Educating the Masses About Smart Grid

A recent study conducted by Market Strategies International, involving 1,168 participants from across the US, shows that smart grid and smart meters are still lesser known concepts in the country.
The smart grid is basically a network that creates the possibility of saving energy resources. While the debate about safety and accuracy of smart meters, a key component of the smarter grid, is still going on, there may be a bigger area of concern for energy providers interested in transforming the grid.
This area is the knowledge and understanding of the smarter grid and smart meters. This article will specifically be about the US as the facts presented in the following lines are taken from a survey involving only US citizens.
In the survey, those who did not know very much or anything at all about the smart grid made up 79% of the total. Similarly, those who did not know or didn't understand advanced meters constituted 76% of the surveyed.
While lack of awareness about these technologies is an area where utilities may need to pay more attention, the good news for them is that providing knowledge about the technologies resulted in positive feedback for them from the participants.
After receiving an explanation about the smart grid and smart meters, 3/4 of the participants said that these technologies should be implemented on a priority basis in the coming 1-5 years. And 2/3 supported deployment of these technologies by their utilities if the cost was in the $6 to $10 range; however, the results were very not very different at higher or lower costs.
Based on these answers, we can say that educating people about the smart grid will be helpful for utilities in gaining support.
However, the education should cover all aspects of the smarter grid. Instances where smart meter installation was stopped after customer backlash have already occurred in the country.