Utilities that are taking an active approach to integrate
education and engagement into their residential, customer-facing smart grid
programs have discovered a high degree of consumer satisfaction and acceptance,
finds a new report from the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC).
SGCC's Smart Grid Customer Engagement Success Stories report spotlights the strategies and tactics employed by four energy utilities in the U.S., CenterPoint Energy, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison, to successfully engage customers with the benefits of the smart grid, smart meters, demand response and other enabling technology and devices for home energy management.
“When utilities take certain steps to engage consumers in the smart grid and empower them to manage their energy, it works,” said SGCC Executive Director Patty Durand. “As consumers become more educated about smart grid and smart meters, and have access to more information, pricing, and automation applications, their knowledge and favorability grows, and so does our nation’s energy efficiency.”
In the report, SGCC also highlights a set of
successful engagement principles to serve as a resource for all industry
stakeholders looking to hasten consumer awareness, acceptance and adoption of
smart grid technologies and programs. Those principles include:
- Educate customers before deployment;
- Anticipate and answer questions before customers ask them;
- Facilitate community engagement;
- Communicate ways to save via signing up for time-based prices and shifting usage off-peak;
- Deploy a user-friendly and information-rich web portal;
- Offer user-friendly Smart Grid-enabled technology, such as smart thermostats; and
- Create authentic customer testimonials.
The SGCC will hold a webinar about the success stories report on March 20, at 4 p.m., Eastern. Webinar registration and the full Success Stories report can be accessed on our online store.