in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

While most Canadians have a limited understanding of smart grids, they become increasingly favorable toward the concept once they have a better understanding, according to a new survey conducted by nonprofit SmartGrid Canada.

The survey found that only 31% of respondents initially indicated that they had at least a basic understanding of smart grids, with only 27% stating that they were favorable to the concept. Once survey respondents were provided a brief definition of smart grids, however, favorability increased to 54%.

"Encouraging Canadians to participate in the smart grid is the single biggest action we can all take to improve the efficiency of the system and avoid new investment in infrastructure," says Alex Bettencourt, managing director of SmartGrid Canada. "We have to provide consumers with the information they need to decide for themselves whether they want to get on board."

Other findings of the research include the following:

- Consumers ranked cost (57%), comfort and convenience (23%) and the environment (20%) as the most important factors for their electricity use.

- Canadians largely see smart grid enhancements as benefiting the system and do not see the value they themselves will draw from a smarter grid. While 73% associated smart grids with fewer and shorter outages, only 17% associated the term with home automation systems.

- The majority of respondents (54%) indicated that they found the idea of receiving a real-time energy use monitor from their local utility appealing.

- Some respondents (29%) showed an interest in participating in a load control program that would allow an electric utility or third party to reduce their water heater use when demands on the grid are highest.

- Among the perceived downsides of smart grids, 37% of respondents believe smart grids could lead to a loss of control over their energy use and 32% worry about privacy.

"These results clearly point to the need to bring the consumer into the conversation about smart grids. We need to make the benefits of smart grids real for them," adds Bettencourt.


Hse SandyHook
Latest Top Stories

SaskPower Halts Smart Meter Installations Following Fires

The Canadian utility has suspended its smart meter deployment as it investigates half a dozen fires associated with the meters.


New Study Underscores Value Of Customer Engagement, Ranks Most-Trusted U.S. Utilities

According to the report, which analyzes 125 utilities across the country, earning a customer's trust can lead to monetary gains.


Washington State Doles Out Cash For Utility Energy Storage Projects

Three utilities have been awarded millions of dollars in grants to explore energy storage technology that could help integrate renewable and improve the power grid.


Utilities Reveal Just How Much Customers Are Saving With Energy Efficiency Programs

Two U.S. utility companies have issued progress reports and solid numbers regarding their respective initiatives.


Middle East And North African Countries To Spend Billions On Smart Grids, Solar Integration

According to a new report from Northeast Group LLC, the MENA region will make big investments to modernize the grid and add more solar power by 2024.

S&C Electric_id176
edf_id180