Smart Grid Consumer Survey

Smart grid rollouts are building momentum as utilities across the United States continue to invest in this new infrastructure in an effort to transform their power grids.

Pike Research forecasts that there will be more than 53 million smart meters deployed in the United States by the end of 2013.

However, even as utilities invest in these new technologies, they struggle to effectively communicate the benefits of smart grid applications and services to end users.

One challenge is that various types of smart grid and smart energy home technologies have different levels of consumer awareness, and different levels of favorability and acceptance.

Even as consumers state that they are concerned about their electricity usage, they are not always willing to adopt new products and services that can help them curb their electricity consumption.

Awareness is also a challenge: nearly one-third of respondents to this survey were not familiar with smart grids, and one-quarter were not familiar with smart meters.

This Pike Research report details findings from a web-based survey of 1,001 consumers in the United States. The study assesses consumer preferences, opinions, and awareness toward smart grid applications. More specifically, the report analyzes the dynamics of consumer demand, preferences, and attitudes toward several key smart grid product and service categories: smart grids and smart meters, home energy management, time-of-use pricing, renewable energy, prepaid electricity services, smart appliances, and demand response. Pike Research’s detailed examination of demand dynamics is segmented by various demographic and behavioral characteristics. The survey was conducted in the fall of 2012 using a nationally representative and demographically balanced sample.

Key Questions Addressed:
  • How concerned are U.S. consumers about their electricity consumption?
  • How familiar are U.S. consumers with smart grid and smart meter technology?
  • What is the level of favorability among U.S. consumers for smart grid and smart meters?
  • How does this interest vary by demographic, behavioral, and political segment?
  • Are consumers willing to pay more for renewable energy, and if so, how much?
  • Are consumers open to the idea of prepaying for electricity?
  • Are consumers interested in home energy management?  What reasons are commonly cited for their interest or lack of interest?
  • What is the level of awareness for TOU pricing and what is the current usage?
  • What is the level of consumer interest in smart appliances, and how much do consumers expect to save if they purchase smart appliances?
  • How likely are consumers to consider participating in demand response programs?