FOAs such as this are subject to Congressional authorization, so nothing is definite. But if an appropriation is authorized, DOE envisions two basic types of projects. The first category is "Community-Level Smart Grid Consumer Engagement," expected to establish and carry out smart grid consumer engagement programs targeting all residential electricity consumers within a single utility service territory. Each such program would include three key elements:
(1) Development of research- and facts-based outreach and educational materials on smart grid and its applications and benefits to each segment of electricity consumers.
(2) Distribution of outreach and educational materials through multiple channels and media.
(3) Continuous performance monitoring and data gathering and analysis to gauge the effectiveness and success of consumer engagement against the metrics developed for the program.
The second category is "State-Level or Regional-Level Smart Grid Consumer Engagement," expected to establish and carry out smart grid consumer engagement programs targeting all residential electricity consumers, within a single State or across two or more States, served by two or more utilities.
As noted, DOE envisions a major role in these projects for consumer advocacy groups and/or community groups "with established trust relationships with their constituent residential electricity consumers." Indeed, the FOA specifies that such groups should be either the proposing applicant or a significant team member to the applicant.
DOE also suggests that project participants include (in particular) utilities, technology/application vendors, state and local governments. While, along with consumer advocacy and community groups, such stakeholders would be considered "preferred," other stakeholders could include firms or institutions with expertise in advertising/promotion, public relations, marketing, educational materials, and delivery through multiple-channel communication.