Customer Buy-in is Key to Smart Grid Success but Less than Half of Utility Executives are Preparing Customers for Change, says Oracle Study
Oracle Releases “Smart Grid Challenges & Choices, Part 2: North American Utility Executives’ Vision and Priorities” Research Report Results
CS Week, Orlando, Fla. – May 23, 2011
Today Oracle announced the results of its “Smart Grid Challenges & Choices, Part 2: North American Utility Executives’ Vision and Priorities” research report, which surveyed 152 North American C-level utility executives to understand utilities’ visions for the upcoming decade, how smart grid plans and expectations are evolving and how utilities are communicating these changes to their customers.
While 71 percent of utilities say securing customer buy-in is a key step needed to drive the success of smart grid, just 43 percent say they are educating their customers on smart grid’s value proposition.
Additionally, three-quarters of utilities rely on one-way customer communication via mail and/or Web sites. Few use social media or other means to engage customers in a two-way discussion.
Further, utilities that have implemented pilot programs or system-wide smart grid deployments anticipate that just 38 percent of customers will take advantage of energy conservation programs – like smart metering pilot programs, in-home energy management programs, programmable thermostats and incentives for reducing energy loads, etc. – once available.
Utility executives agree, however, that their top priorities for the next 10 years will be improving service reliability (40 percent) and controlling customer costs (40 percent).
“Smart grid is moving from vision to reality. Oracle’s ‘Smart Grid Challenges & Choices' report indicates that while the majority of utility executives believe that customer buy-in is critical to driving smart grid success and energy conservation practices, less than half are preparing their customers and providing actionable information they can use to change usage patterns. Leveraging integrated technology, applications and analytics will help utilities extract and derive value from data to enable them to exchange relevant, consistent and regular communication with customers and enact real change,” said Linda Jackman, group vice president of industry strategy, Oracle Utilities.
Oracle Utilities delivers proven software applications that help utilities of all types and sizes achieve competitive advantage, business performance excellence and a lower total cost of technology ownership. Oracle Utilities integrates industry-specific customer care and billing, network management, work and asset management, mobile workforce management and meter data management applications with the capabilities of Oracle’s industry-leading enterprise applications, business intelligence tools, middleware and database technologies. The software enables customers to adapt more nimbly to market deregulation, meet ever-evolving customer demands and deliver on environmental conservation commitments. Additionally, Oracle Utilities helps utilities prepare for smart metering and smart grid initiatives that enhance efficiency and provide critical intelligence metrics that can help drive more-informed energy and water usage decisions for consumers and businesses. For more information, visit www.oracle.com/goto/utilities.
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