Money is a great motivator for anything, and likely the biggest one when it comes to reducing energy usage at home, but a study done for the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) found that U.S. utility customers were interested in smart grid technologies for much more than just the ability to save money.
ease of connecting renewable energy sources to the electric grid
new cost-saving rate plans
fewer new power plant investments
increased quality of power delivery
availability of near real-time energy use information
more accurate billing
Eighty percent of respondents rated each of those issues as important to them.
Possibly even more notable is that when people were then asked if they had heard of the smart grid or smart meters, 51 percent had never heard the terms and 21 percent said that they had heard them, but didn't know what they were. Repeating what we've learned from other studies, all of the respondents who were aware of the terms were supportive of the concepts and those that learned more about them gained a positive impression too.
This shows a crucial need for better messaging from utilities and smart grid technology providers and that within that messaging there needs to be discussion of more than just cost savings. Apparently, people want all the benefits, they just don't know what the solution is called.