Smart Grid: It’s About More Than Saving Money

Have you heard the term smart grid? If you answered yes, you are among the 49 percent of American consumers who are at least a little bit familiar with the term. Now comes a bit harder question: Can you explain what the term means? If you said no, you are hardly alone. According to findings in the SGCC Consumer Pulse Study, conducted for the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) by Market Strategies International, more than 21 percent of Americans said they know the term, but don’t know much about what it means.

Here’s the CliffsNotes version. A smart grid is an electrical grid that takes into account information and behaviors of both suppliers and consumers and uses it to provide more efficient, reliable and sustainable electricity services. Smart meters are devices used in the home to measure the amount energy used in the home. Of course, one of the major benefits of both a smart grid and smart meters is cost saving for consumers.

smart meter growth

image via PG&E

But this new study found that when survey participants were asked to rate potential benefits of smart grids and smart meters it wasn’t just cost savings that popped up. Benefits like ease of connecting renewable energy sources to the electric grid, reduced outages, new cost-saving rate plans, fewer new power plant investments, increased quality of power delivery, availability of near real-time energy use information and more accurate billing, were found to be important to 80 percent or more of respondents.

“We found that the most commonly discussed benefits like cost saving and greater power reliability, while important, represent only a part of a broader spectrum of smart grid and smart meter benefits that are appealing to the average consumer,” SGCC Executive Director Patty Durand said in a statement. “To achieve greater impact upon a diverse customer base, utilities should take care to bring these other benefits into their marketing messages.”

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.


  • Reply January 29, 2012


    Smart Meters – something to be afraid of?

  • Reply January 30, 2012


    SMART METER RADIATIONu00a0nnWe observe (1) Human Cell Damage, (2) DNA Chain Breaks and (3) Breaches in the Blood-Brain Barrier in the laboratory when testing the radiation from smart meters at radiation levels considerably lower and less frequent than smart meters emit attached to homes.nnThese radiation effects on the body can result in cancer, tumors, miscarriage, birth defects, semen degradation (infertility) and a large number of other problems and illnesses to a body.u00a0nnIt surprises us that those people who claim safety of this product do so without ever being in a testing laboratory.nnIt is understandable why the utility companies and smart meter manufacturers would lie to the public, but it is curious why some members of the public support harm to their own families within their own homes.

  • Reply January 30, 2012


    Of the existing ‘smart grid’ installations which have been around long enough to discern real results, how many have actually seen these improvements?u00a0 It all sounds very theoretical to me.u00a0 I hear “We could do all of these wonderful things for you if you would only approve the expense” all the time, yet somehow the wonderful improvements somehow never seem to materialize after the dust has settled.u00a0 What has been the experience of those communities and power companies who have already run with this?u00a0 Better?u00a0 Worse?u00a0 The author somehow seems to have left that part out.u00a0 As far as I’m concerned, “Smart Grid” is simply industry-speak for “more profits”.

  • Reply February 23, 2012

    pauline holeton

    smart meters are not about savibg money its about control of our lives agenda 21 and iclei complete control of our lives.  wwww4ar.c om for more info.  pauline holeton michigan

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