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Companies Fail To Educate Consumers on Energy Management Systems

A new survey from the Consumer Electronics Association found consumers are concerned about the cost of their energy use, yet lack awareness of emerging energy management systems.

While many consumers turn lights off, shop for energy efficient devices and practice other eco-friendly practices, just 10.2 million of 119 million U.S. households are estimated to have enrolled in electricity management programs. Utility companies, the study found, are in the best position to raise awareness of these programs to boost consumers’ understanding of energy consumption.

“Our research shows consumers are interested in how electricity management programs could reduce their monthly electric bills,” said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis for CEA. “However, our survey found there is little difference in the bills of those enrolled in electricity management programs and those who are not; which indicates further development by industry, utilities and government is needed to realize the vision of a smart grid that could bring about more meaningful cost savings to consumers.”

The survey of 1,250 adults, conducted in April, sought to better understand consumer awareness and attitudes regarding energy management and how energy efficiency gains in consumer electronics products have changed purchasing habits. More than half (55%) of consumers expressed interest in an electricity management program sponsored by a utility or electric company. Consumers also indicated whether they would prefer to use a device in the home (41%), an online portal (41%) or a mobile device (32%) to monitor energy use.

Looking forward, 46% of respondents aware of electricity management programs available in their area expressed an interest in enrolling in the coming years.

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