A new survey of utility company executives from Capgemini suggests providers have several concerns about the future of power supply, but that consumer education about usage, rates, and the roll out of smart meters ranks relatively low on their list of priorities.
Completed in April of this year, the recent study suggests that environmental regulation is seen as the number one challenge for utility providers, followed by aging infrastructure. While solar and wind were expected to grow, shale gas, so-called clean coal, and nuclear resources were still seen as the main drivers of new power.
Roughly half of executives, one hundred total from the United States and Canada, say cyber security is key concern, both for providers and customers alike, a sector that will become more important with the rollout of smart meters. But according to the survey, 67% of executives do not know if smart meter technology will cause customers to manage their consumption, and few know if peak demand is being reduced as a result of implementation.
Another disappointing find – less than 30% of executives say educating consumers about the potential effects, negative and positive, of the smart grid is their responsibility. Does that mean it’s up to us? Guess so. Here are some articles you can read to brush up on the topic:
To start, we reported that the federal government is helping fund smart meter installations, but that there are several consumer issues, including data privacy. Still, some say the technology is working well overall, despite one report suggesting utility providers are unprepared for the stress new electric vehicles could bring, and another noting the vast majority of people are uneducated on the subject. Finally, we rounded up a variety of sources that have noted potential problems with the technology, as well as an overview of smart home energy management.