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PwC survey finds smart grid needs better awareness for greater deployment

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Utilities around the country have invested billions of dollars to transform America's antiquated electric infrastructure, however customer awareness of the benefits of the smart grid is still relatively low - what PricewaterhouseCoopers says could be a major issue.

The new survey, titled "Listening to the Heartland: Insights into a Customer-Centric Strategy for the Smart Grid," found that 58 percent of utilities' customers do not even know what the smart grid is, and those that do are not aware of the myriad benefits the new system offers.

The report summarizes the responses of 900 utility customers in the Midwest, and details how customers use energy, and how the smart grid could affect their day-to-day lives. Several strategies utilities can use to increase smart grid awareness are also outlined in the report.

While raising customer awareness of the smart grid's benefits will be crucial, previous studies indicate the highest spending could be for behind-the-scenes systems, such as substation automation and introduction of intelligent electronic devices to existing hardware.

SUBNET has developed software and other smart grid technologies that enable utilities to securely manage data from IED-based substations, greatly increasing operating efficiency while complying with government regulations. 

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