With billions of dollars (private and public) going to smart grid, it stands to reason that we should figure out whether people really want this stuff. Oracle has done just that, with its new research report out this week called "Turning Information Into Power."
The data, which Oracle presented during an energy leadership forum in Washington, demonstrates that a large majority of U.S. consumers would like to track their energy consumption. But, of course, very few are willing to pay for this sort of details information. The survey covered the perceptions of 604 U.S. consumers and 200 U.S. utility managers.
Here are some of the relevant stats:
- Fully 94 percent of the consumers were concerned about the energy costs associated with their primary residence, and 95 percent were interested in more information about their energy usage. BUT only 20 percent said they would pay for a detail report.
- Slightly more than three-quarters of the consumers surveyed were interested in renewable energy BUT only 6 percents had installed some sort of renewable energy technology in their home during the past 12 months.
- About 91 percent of the utility managers indicated that they believe it is critical for the United States to adopt smart grid technology, with an eye to "improving power flow management" and "supplying customers with the tools to monitor and reduce energy use at home"
- 41 percent of the utility managers report that their companies have assessed smart grid projects, but only 16 percent of those responding said they had begun implementations.
- Finally, even though 60 percent of the utility managers surveyed said their company offered some sort of net metering program, which enables consumers to offer power created by renewable energy technology, only 11 percent of customers are taking advantage of these programs.
So, let me ask you this question: Are you aware of what your local power companies are doing the smart grid. I have to admit that I haven't a clue. I HAVE taken advantage of my utility's renewable energy portfolio, but haven't seen really relevant communications about smart metering options. Is it really up to me to be asking about it? The smart grid is a smart idea, but we've got a long way to go. And don't talk to my husband about paying for a smart meter, without really making it worth his while.
The full Oracle report can be downloaded at this link.