Awareness Lacking on Smart Grids
Results from a collaborative research study by the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) has found that the concept of a “connected home” provides great benefits in terms of controllability, energy saving and security for homeowners. However, it also found a lack of awareness and also confusion regarding what products and services are best suited for consumers, and the lack of defined cost benefits are key issues that have kept the industry from moving forward.
Only 39% of consumers had even a small level of understanding of what is a “smart grid” is, or any awareness of “smart” and “green” home technology possibilities. Of the consumers who had even a general awareness of smart grids, only 34% attribute this awareness to marketing campaigns by local utilities. Yet, energy efficiency will be the major concern for homeowners in the near future; and demands for reduced expenses and connected, energy saving products and services will increase. The need for manufacturers and utilities to team with telecommunication companies is obvious, as consumers will anticipate and expect these technologies to provide solutions in the near future.
A number of world-class companies and organizations, including Comcast Communications, Consolidated Edison of New York, IBM, Microsoft, Samsung Telecommunications America, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and Qualcomm, among others, have teamed to support this project. Their research determined the potentials of connected home technologies and strategies that companies can adopt to capitalize on the emerging “smart grid” in North America.