58 percent American customers have not heard about smart grid: PwC US survey

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58 percent American customers have not heard about smart grid: PwC US survey

Greentech Lead America: 58 percent customers have not
heard of smart grid technology and those who have feel that they have very
limited knowledge of the opportunities that the smart grid offers.

The survey was among 900 utility customers in the Midwest
as well as follow up focus groups. The study explores how customers use energy,
how smart grid technology will affect their everyday lives and how much they
expect to embrace products and services related to the smart grid in the next
few years.

PwC said utility companies have invested billions of
dollars in new smart grid program rollouts, but so far, customer adoption has
been slow.

According to the PwC US survey titled Listening to the
Heartland: Insights into a Customer-Centric Strategy for the Smart Grid, there
is key distinctions in attitudes and behavior among younger and older
customers. Customers want more control of their energy use, including the
option to generate their own power, and they are willing to partner with their
utility to make this happen.

The report details PwC’s recommended strategies to
promote customer adoption of smart grid solutions:

Know your customers and earn their trust. Customers are
not mandated to use smart grid products, and therefore the success of a utility
company’s smart grid program depends on the customers’ willingness to
participate. To help generate that interest, utilities must become more
effective marketers.

Offer ways for customers to control their energy usage
and be open to partnering with them. Utilities must emphasize and clearly
communicate to customers how smart grid technology can allow them to take
greater control of their energy usage and provide new opportunities for the
customer and the utility to develop a partnership for their mutual benefit.

Craft target messages and use both conventional and new
marketing channels. Relevant and timely communication that is tailored to
customers’ unique needs and interest is a key success factor. By implementing a
multi-channel strategy, utilities can further extend the effectiveness of their
customer outreach.

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