Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Utilities in the US recommended to focus on consumer education

Even as Americans are concerned about energy costs and show interest in new energy options, yet this interest is not yet translating to action - and utilities can improve communication with customers, according to the findings of a research report released by Oracle.

Oracle, which had surveyed 604 U.S. consumers and 200 U.S. utility managers for its `Turning Information into Power’ research report, found that 94 percent are concerned with the energy costs of their primary residence and 95 percent are interested in receiving detailed information on their energy use. But only six percent of respondents have installed some type of renewable energy source in the last 12 months.

For their part, utilities believe the smart grid is critical to meeting impending energy needs and are taking first steps.

· 91 percent of utility managers believe it is critical that the U.S. adopts smart grid technologies. They selected “improving power flow management” and “supplying customers with the tools to monitor and reduce energy use at home” as the top two benefits.
· 41 percent of utilities have assessed the opportunity for smart grid technologies and 16 percent have begun implementation.
· Utility managers believe “upfront consumer expenses” (42 percent) and a “lack of consistent industry technology standards” (30 percent) will be the biggest roadblocks to maximising benefits of the smart grid.

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