A new survey says most consumers who are aware of smart grid technology only somewhat understand it and what it does.
The survey, prepared by the NAHB Research Center for appliance giant Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity International as part of their joint global housing initiative, says that 70% of consumers who know about the technology are pretty shaky on the details. In addition, only 43 percent of all consumer respondents indicated they know what Smart Grid technology is, although the number was greater for respondents in the upper middle (63%) and high-income (57%) segments.
The survey reported opinions from consumers and builders on topics related to green home building. The consumer portion of the survey also showed that of all Smart Grid-aware respondents, only 35 percent believe their community somewhat understands Smart Grid technology. A total of 46 percent of the same segment said they feel their community does not understand the technology at all.
The builder portion of the survey showed a similar perception of consumer knowledge on the subject. Of all Smart Grid-aware respondents, 62 percent said that they believe homeowners do not understand Smart Grid technology at all. Smart Grid-aware builder respondents generally felt more confident with their own knowledge of the technology, with 79 percent answering that they at least somewhat understand how it works. A total of 51 percent of Smart Grid-aware builder respondents noted that they believe the home building industry as a whole understands how the technology works.
On the plus side, at least from Whirlpool’s point of view, 48 percent of Smart Grid-aware respondents to the consumer portion of the survey indicated that Smart Grid-compatible appliances will be very important to green homes. In the builder survey, 64 percent of Smart Grid-aware respondents said these appliances will be at least somewhat important to green homes in the future.