The smart grid can foster an "energy divide" for low-income consumers.
With a substantial portion of the consumer benefit of smart grid coming
from greater awareness of energy usage, many low-income consumers -
particularly older consumers - lack access to utility web portals and
other online resources, says a new research report published today by
the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC). The
Spotlight on Low Income Consumers II report, the second part of a
national study first conducted in 2012, provides smart grid stakeholders
with an in-depth understanding of the needs of the low-income population.
Te new study highlights the challenge low-income consumers face in
accessing their energy usage information provided by new smart grid
technologies, and how this impacts utilities' ability to effectively
engage and communicate smart grid data to the low-income population.
"Every consumer, regardless of socio-economic status, should be aware of
the benefits the smart grid provides," said SGCC Executive Director
Patty Durand. "In order to increase awareness of a consumer-safe,
consumer-friendly smart grid, utilities must be innovative and create a
multi-channel approach to disseminating valuable smart grid data to
Additionally, the Spotlight on Low Income Consumers II findings
illustrate that there is a significant gap between renters and
homeowners around the ability to increase energy efficiency improvements
within their places of residence. For example, 57 percent of renters say
that they are not allowed to make changes to their home or appliances to
increase overall energy efficiency.
To download a summary of the full report, visit: www.smartgridcc.org.
About Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative
Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with
the mission of accelerating the adoption of a consumer-friendly,
consumer-safe and consumer-approved smart grid. Membership is open to
advocacy groups, technology vendors, research laboratories and electric
utilities for collaboration in research, best practices and consumer
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