Expectations have been running high for what smart meters and smart grid technology will provide to residential energy consumers in the long run. In the minds of consumers, gaining more control over energy use, improving environmental impacts and managing costs have been firmly associated with the term “smart grid.” But how do people feel about the paths to be traversed to get to an attractive future state where smart grids and smart meters provide such improvements?

From our prior surveys, we know consumers like the idea of having cleaner power options, and more control and efficiency at their fingertips. But have they assumed these benefits would be accessible immediately once a smart meter was attached to their homes? Do they have sufficient understanding that, in order to optimize these benefits, changes in energy consumption patterns and more permission to access information about that energy usage might be required?

With questions like these in mind, we prepared our 2011 Global Utility Consumer Survey for launch to more than 9,000 respondents in 15 countries. We found that the following factors are best explained in the context of a consumer energy experience chain, which recognizes that:

Navigating this consumer energy experience chain will be a core competency in coming years to help determine how smoothly smart meter and smart grid deployment will go and how engaged consumers will be. More fundamental information must be provided to consumers to increase this knowledge base – through both traditional and new influencers, and with specific messages and tailored channels.

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Meet the author

  • John Juliano

    John Juliano

    IBM Institute for Business Value Global Lead for Energy and Utilities

Energy and utilities consulting

Deliver smarter energy for a smarter planet.


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