Study: Smart Meters Need Some PR And Utility Companies Don’t Communicate Very Well

The Boston Consulting Group

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The Boston Consulting Group released the results of a new survey earlier today that sheds light on how smart meters are being used – or not.

It surveyed 1,700 U.S. consumers and surfaced information that should be gold to utility companies.  From the BCG release:

“BCG survey found that 66 percent of U.S. consumers said that they would like more communication from their utility on smart meters. And less than 30 percent could recall any outreach from their utility beyond the monthly bill.”

Sound familiar? Strikingly for us. Our old utility company was really adept at finding our inbox for payment reminders, but woefully inept at being proactive about things like better energy tracking or consumption tips.

Among other data, the captain obvious nugget that jumped out was the stat showing 66% of consumers thought real-time data could help them effectively manage energy usage. Hello local utility company, meet Mrs. Opportunity.

Three-quarters of U.S. consumers are interested in easy ways to save power, and two-thirds said that being able to estimate their monthly energy bill on a daily basis would help them better manage their power usage, according to the survey. Yet fewer than half said that they have heard of smart meters, and only 15 percent consider themselves "very aware."

About the Smart Meter Survey

The survey was conducted online in December 2009. Seventy-five percent (1,253) of respondents resided in zip codes where smart meters had been deployed or were currently being deployed; 25 percent (425) resided in zip codes in the same states but without smart meter deployment. Respondents were screened to include only household incomes greater than $25,000 and primary or occasional payers of residential power bills.

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