For the fourth month in a row, Zpryme’s Smart Grid sentiment survey found that U.S. citizens had a more positive (8.0%) than negative (4.1%) view of the smart grid than they had 12 months ago. However, the past four months of data show no significant shift in the number of Americans who are familiar with the smart grid. The May data shows that 72.3% of Americans are not familiar with the smart grid. Without a significant increase in consumer education about the smart grid, utilities will continue face pockets of consumer resistance to proposed smart grid deployments.
About the Survey
Zpryme’s Smart Grid Insights collected data via the internet from 906 U.S. adults during May of 2013. This is the fourth consecutive month the data have been tracked. Respondents were asked about their perceptions of the smart grid. The data were weighted by age, gender, and geographical region to reflect the national population of the U.S. Different groupings of respondents (gender, age range, and geographical region) were inspected for differences about how their views of the smart grid had changed over the past 12 months.
- As of May of 2013, about 73.3% U.S. adults are still not familiar with smart grid. This is just above a three percentage point increase from April.
- Eight point one percent indicated that they have a ‘more positive’ view of smart grid than they had 12 months ago. This figure is slightly down from last month (9.2% in April).
- Four point one percent reported that they had a ‘more negative’ view of smart grid than they had 12 months ago. This figure changed very little from last month (4.9% in April).
- Fifteen point six percent said their views had stayed the same in May. This figure changed very little from last month (16.8% in April).
Smart Grid Monthly Trends
The number of males that were unfamiliar with the smart grid (71.3%) was only slightly fewer than the number of females (73.2%). But males had changed more positively (9.4%) than females had changed positively (6.6%). However, the positive movement for males declined from 13.1% in April to 9.4% in May 2013. Almost the same proportion of males (4.1%) and females (4.2%) said they had shifted negatively toward the smart grid.
Generally, the older the respondent, the less positive change was observed. Although the greatest positive shift was seen for 18-24 year olds (10.9%), this represents a drop from the 14.3% proportion seen in April 2013. But the 18-24 year olds exhibited the lowest negative change (3.4%), matching their lowest position seen in April. Those 25-34 years old reported the highest negative change (6.4%) in May 2013.
Regionally, the West had the greatest positive change (10.1%) and the South the smallest (6.5%). When viewing the change in a negative direction, there were more respondents in the South (5.4%) than in the other regions. Likewise, the South had the greatest proportion (17.2%) of those saying their view of the smart grid had remained the same.
The interactive INFOgraphic below details the overall survey findings and segments the data by U.S. region, age, and gender.