The five categories include Concerned Greens (31 percent), protective of the environment and supportive of smart grid initiatives, this group is highly likely to participate in energy management programs; Young America (23 percent) uninformed about the smart grid but interested in learning about environmental benefits and cost savings; Easy Street (20 percent) consumers have the highest income and are reluctant to change their personal behaviors; the DIY and Save (16 percent) group are frugal and are more worried about personal finances, not the environment; Traditionals (11 percent) do not see the need for energy reform.
SGCC executive director Patty Durand notes, “Utilities that take the time to understand each segment’s characteristics, attitudes, values and motivations can engage their consumers successfully and provide the most appealing smart grid-enabled products and services. The results from this study have the power to change the relationship between utilities and their customers. The day of the faceless ‘rate payer’ gives way to a portrait of a real human being with a unique personality and distinct characteristics.”
The SGCC is a consumer-focused nonprofit organization that promotes the understanding and benefits of modernized electrical systems. Membership is open to all consumer and environmental advocates, technology vendors, research scientists, and electric utilities for sharing in research, best practices and collaborative efforts of the group.
The telephone survey was conducted from August 15 to September 6, 2011, using a national random digit dialed (RDD) landline and cell phone sample was used. A report summary is available at www.smartgridcc.org. SGCC is also providing its members with a set of 12 survey questions that they can use to accurately classify their own customers into the SGCC segments.