With recent studies proving that Americans would be more eager to adopt smart grids providing they were better educated about them, a group of consumer electronics and technology companies, retailers, consumer advocacy groups, and utilities have come together to form the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC), a group dedicated to providing just such an education.
This electrifying coalition formed at this year’s DistribuTECH conference, the nation’s largest congregation of energy technologists and utilities. According to a press release announcing the group’s formation, the SGCC’s priorities are threefold: research consumer awareness, acceptance, and use of smart grids with an emphasis placed on consumer needs and preferences; education to better the consumer’s understanding of smart grid technology; and the development of practices “to involve and empower consumers in the roll out of smart grid technologies.”
Members of the SGCC include Best Buy, Magnolia, IBM, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, General Electric, and others. The group states that by 2015, the federal stimulus program for smart grids will reach $4 billion, and more than half of all North American consumers will have access to next generation smart meters. In order for the program to be a success, the SGCC believes consumers must be educated far in advance, which should result in a larger adoption of smart grid technology.
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