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GE survey: Millions of Americans willing to pay more for a better grid

08/15/2014 11:00AMSign-up to receive press releases.

A new survey from GE’s Digital Energy business says “millions of Americans” would willingly pay an extra $10 on their monthly utility bill if it meant a more reliable electric grid.

The Grid Resilience Survey conducted by Harris Poll in May and June is based on responses from more than 2,000 participants. The survey found that 41% of Americans living east of the Mississippi River, and 34% living west of the Mississippi, are “more than willing to pay” the additional $10 to ensure that the grid is more reliable.

GE notes that consumers living east of the Mississippi had almost three times more outages than those living west of the river.

“The survey results are an indicator that consumers want to invest in technology to prevent power outages and reduce the time it takes their local utility to restore power,” said John McDonald, director of technical strategy and policy development for GE’s Digital Energy Business. “We live in an on-demand world that depends on electricity – one where productivity, food, entertainment and even chores can be achieved with the touch of a button. Our appetite to automate is so great that millions of American adults would be willing to pay more on their utility bills to maintain their electrified lifestyles.”

Consumers generally expect more from their electric service providers. Here are some additional survey highlights:

  • 82% of utility customers want their utility to do more to encourage energy conservation and help them with energy efficiency in their homes
  • 81% expect their providers to incorporate more renewable energy from solar, wind and geothermal biogas
  • 52% get frustrated with power outages of an hour or less
  • 50% believe natural disasters and weather-related events are the biggest threat to the grid although there are regional differences. In the Northeast, 61% of Americans see weather as the grid’s greatest threat, compared to 48% in the South and 43% in the West.

“When there is a power outage, consumers expect their utility to communicate effectively and provide real-time updates on power restoration progress. Leveraging big data, minimizing recovery times and optimizing renewable energy will be key for utilities to meet consumers’ evolving needs,” McDonald added.

Source: Smart Grid News


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