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SMART GRID SURVEY: Americans Interested in Home-Based Renewable Energy Technologies.

ENERGY RESOURCE-9 March 2009-SMART GRID SURVEY: Americans Interested in Home-Based Renewable Energy Technologies(C)2009 JeraOne - http://www.jeraone.com

A new survey from software giant Oracle Corp., "Turning Information into Power," finds that 76% of Americans are interested in renewable energy technologies for their home -- and 72% of those respondents say that "reducing personal energy costs" is the most important benefit of renewable energy.

The survey looked at the U.S. public's energy consumption habits, perception of utilities' ability to provide useful information and demand for new technologies, as well as opinions from utilities on the move to the smart grid.

While 94% of respondents are concerned with the energy costs of their primary residence and 95% are interested in receiving detailed information on their energy use, this interest has not yet translated into action - a finding that the survey says rests on improved communication between utilities and their customers.

According to the survey, when asked if they would pay an upfront fee to view a detailed, real-time energy consumption report, just 20% of Americans said yes.

Only 6% of respondents have installed some type of renewable energy source in the last 12 months.

When asked to give their utility suppliers a grade on their "current ability to provide detailed, useful information on energy consumption," only 14% of Americans gave their utility an "A." When grading themselves on the same question, only 16% of utility managers gave their organizations an "A."While more than half (58%) of electricity and multi-service utilities surveyed currently offer net metering programs -- which allow homeowners to generate their own renewable energy or sell it back to their utilities -- just 11% of these utilities say their customers are actively pursuing the programs.

In terms of the smart grid, the survey found that utilities believe it is critical to meeting impending energy needs and are taking first steps.

-- 91% of utility managers believe it is critical that the U.S. adopts smart grid technologies. They selected "improving power flow management" and "supplying customers with the tools to monitor and reduce energy use at home" as the top two benefits.

-- 41% of utilities have assessed the opportunity for smart grid technologies and 16% have begun implementation.

-- Utility managers believe "upfront consumer expenses" (42%) and a "lack of consistent industry technology standards" (30%) will be the biggest roadblocks to maximizing benefits of the smart grid.

To download the full "Turning Information into Power" report, visit www.oracle.com/industries/utilities/index.html.

((Comments on this story may be sent to newsdesk@jeraone.com))

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Publication:Energy Resource
Date:Mar 9, 2009
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