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    02/09/2012

    Five ways utilities help consumers prepare for a lower energy future

       


    Now, homeowners are empowered to support a more efficient grid

    Consumers represent a utility’s greatest untapped resource for migration to the smart grid. Utilities can now empower consumers to manage their own home energy consumption. This drives changes in consumer energy use that create a win-win for both the utility and homeowner. Most homeowners want to save money and go green and this helps to cushion the impact of living in a world where energy supplies are more constrained.

    Five steps below detail how utilities can help consumers make better energy decisions.

    1. Educate: Utilities need to educate consumers about the opportunities the smart grid provides and how variable pricing and smart meters will arm them with the information they need to actively manage and reduce their own energy costs.

    2. Engage: Beyond the savings they can incur, people like to feel they are personally making a difference. Many consumers will be interested in understanding the role they can play in keeping the electric grid stable and adding new energy sources onto the electric grid.

    3. Empower: Consumers will feel empowered by having control over their own energy usage and output, as well as what they pay on a monthly basis. Utilities can help them grasp the idea that their home HVAC and other systems can be programmed to control, monitor, and manage their home’s energy usage.

    4. Emphasise: Utilities need to emphasise that the smart grid can help them respond more efficiently to consumer power requirements and can help them decrease their use of carbon-based power plants.

    5. Equip: Utilities must also provide the best options and tools to make home energy management possible. User-friendly smart meters and home energy management systems with the right amount of high-tech features will be important to attracting the early adopters and influencers.