Are utilities ready to really engage customers, and get them to care about more than just whether the beer stays cold? Or will we turn our focus away from customers, because we don’t know how to...
Accentuate the Positive
A practical guide to explaining the value of the smart grid.
To answer such questions, regulators should address technical subjects directly and seek to simplify the analysis in discussions with consumers. After all, our economy and way of life depends on a modern and sustainable electricity system, and that system must integrate the full range of energy resources – from nuclear to distributed renewables. Optimizing that integration depends on a fully functional smart grid.
Moreover, as the nation moves into a time of unprecedented environmental, economic, and technological change, our power system must keep up in order to continue meeting our growing demand for the high-tech products and services that depend on reliable and affordable power supplies.
Such issues represent the primary motivating factors in any discussion about smart grid upgrades, time-of-use programs, and other initiatives that involve investing in new technology and systems. Changing the way our nation thinks about the need for smart grid technology takes a village, but it also means moving markets to invest in the technology in the first place. That starts with a solid business case and clear policy direction, and it continues with ongoing communications to show the value of smart grid to customers.
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2. “ Consumer Pulse and Market Segmentation Study ,” Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, 2012.
3. “ 2013 State of the Consumer Report ,” Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative.
4. Hammerstrom, D.J., et al., “ Pacific Northwest GridWise Testbed Demonstration Projects ,” PNNL, Oct. 2007.
5. “ 2012-2013 Annual Directory & Statistical Report ,” American Public Power Association.
6. “ Smart Grid Technologies ” report, Navigant Research, 2013.
7. “ Q1 2013 Earnings Call ,” Itron.
8. “ Consumer Pulse and Market Segmentation Study ,” Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, 2012.
9. Levine, Linda L., “ Retiring Baby Boomers = A Labor Shortage? ” Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, 2008, p. 10.