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TMCNet:  Favorable Attitudes Toward Smart Grid and Smart Meter Technology Increased in 2012, According to Navigant Research Survey

[May 20, 2013]

Favorable Attitudes Toward Smart Grid and Smart Meter Technology Increased in 2012, According to Navigant Research Survey

BOULDER, Colo. --(Business Wire)--

As rollouts of smart grid systems and smart meters have accelerated in the United States, utilities have struggled to effectively communicate the benefits of these technologies for consumers. Convincing end-users to embrace this technology, by communicating the possibilities for greater energy management and conservation it enables, is critical to the long-term success of utility smart grid programs. According to a recent consumer survey from Navigant Research, favorable attitudes toward the concept of the smart grid in general, and toward smart meters in particular, increased noticeably in 2012.

Forty-one percent of the consumers surveyed have a "favorable" or "very favorable" attitude toward smart grid and smart meters, according to the survey. That is an increase of ten percentage points over the findings from Navigant Research's 2011 survey.

"Less than ten percent of the respondents have an unfavorable opinion of smart grids and smart meters, which is an encouraging sign for utilities and policymakers," says Neil Strother, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "However, utilities still have a long way to go in persuading a majority of their customers that they should approach these technologies with enthusiasm."

Consumer attitudes toward the smart grid vary in direct proportion to educational attainment and income level, the survey found. Nearly half of the respondents with graduate degrees have favorable opinions, while about 26 percent of those with only a high school degree showed positive responses. Similarly, more than 45 percent of people earning at least $75,000 have positive opinions of smart grids and smart meters.

The report, "Smart Grid Consumer Survey", details findings from a web-based survey of 1,001 consumers in the United States. The study assesses consumer preferences, opinions, and awareness toward smart grid applications. More specifically, the report analyzes the dynamics of consumer demand, preferences, and attitudes toward several key smart grid product and service categories: smart grids and smart meters, home energy management, time-of-use pricing, renewable energy, prepaid electricity services, smart appliances, and demand response. Navigant Research's detailed examination of demand dynamics is segmented by various demographic and behavioral characteristics. The survey was conducted in the fall of 2012 using a nationally representative and demographically balanced sample. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.


About Navigant Research

Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology markets. The team's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Navigant Research can be found at www.navigantresearch.com.

About Navigant

Navigant (NYSE: NCI) is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Through senior level engagement with clients, Navigant professionals combine technical expertise in Disputes and Investigations, Economics, Financial Advisory and Management Consulting, with business pragmatism in the highly regulated Construction, Energy, Financial Services and Healthcare industries to support clients in addressing their most critical business needs. More information about Navigant can be found at www.navigant.com.

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, "Smart Grid Consumer Survey," is a summary and reflects Navigant Research's current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report's conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.


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