Smart Grid Group Studies You & The Grid

When the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) formed earlier this year it understood there was a lack of smart-grid awareness among consumers — survey after survey showed that. What the SGCC didn’t know, apparently, was how to attack the problem. Six months into its existence, the industry group is now launching a study intended to help it figure out some answers.

The consultancy Cadmus Group has been brought on to do the research, and is already running focus groups in California, Michigan and Georgia, the SGCC said in a press release. The hope is “to gather a full spectrum of consumer concerns and benefits about the consumer side of smart grid.”

image via PG&E

Apparently, though, this is a tough nut to crack. The SGCC isn’t promising any direct consumer-targeted action based on the study results, which it expects to release later this year. Instead, “the research will guide the development of future quantitative research,” it said.

If that sounds like a lot of studying and not much educating, the group’s acting executive director, Jesse Berst, seemed to anticipate just such a criticism. “The SGCC’s role is to accelerate the adoption of a consumer-safe, consumer-friendly smart grid by listening, collaborating and educating,” he said in the release. “In the tradition of Steven Covey, we ‘seek first to understand.’ The launch of this research underlines our determination to listen carefully to consumers and to use what we learn to guide our other activities.”

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.