By Larry Dignan
Posting in Energy
Consumers are wary of utilities efforts to remotely limit use of appliances as part of electricity management plans---unless there's a steep discount, according to a survey by Accenture.
Consumers are wary of utilities' efforts to remotely limit use of appliances as part of electricity management plans---unless there's a steep discount, according to a survey by Accenture.
The survey, which queried more than 9,000 consumers in 17 countries, examined consumer attitudes toward energy management plans. Under energy management plans, utilities would remotely limit the use of appliances.
Accenture's survey is notable as government groups are hoping that consumers can help them cut carbon footprints. Reuters noted that Japan is hoping policies can get households to use low-carbon technologies.
Accenture found that only 16 percent of consumers would allow utilities to limit the use of appliances if they had no override and no discount. However, 24 percent of respondents said they would give utilities remote control over their energy use with a discount of 10 percent. Thirty-five percent of consumers would give utilities control with a discount of 20 percent.
In other words, energy management programs are a tough sell. Forty six percent of consumers thought these programs would lead to higher bills and 32 percent had privacy worries.
Among other key points:
- Seventy five percent of consumers said they understood the steps needed to optimize electricity consumption, but 28 percent knew about programs to help them cut energy use.
- Only 29 percent of consumers trusted utility advice on energy consumption.
- And 20 percent of consumers said they trusted online service providers to advise them on cutting electricity consumption.
Apr 20, 2010
Computers are responsible for gobs of energy waste. Of all companies, HP is doing lots of work to reduce energy consumption in PCs - http://digital.newzgeek.com/its-green-revolution/
bastien - Have you ever listened to commercials for brokerage firms? They ALL say something to the effect that "investing in the market is a risk" and that you could "lose your principal". Well, the utilities have a "hostage base" so that their investors no longer take the risks! The utilities cannot and, indeed, WILL NOT allow their revenues to drop!
bastien, most people do not realize that most of their electric bill does not go to pay for the "energy" itself (be it derived from oil, gas, coat, etc) but for the infrastructure that delivers it to their home. Most of those costs are fixed, no matter how much power you use. So even if I cover my house in solar panels and windmills and reduce my demand upon the grid by 90%, the net cost to the utility of servicing me as a customer remains nearly the same. It's even worse if you are conserving water. The more successful the conservation effort, the higher your bill is going to get.
Given the continuing monotonous litany of security breaches at banks, stores, government agencies, and every other kind of large institution that collects and stores personal information from us consumers, why in the world should I trust that systems to manage my personal electrical usage would not be vulnerable to hacking? Full disclosure of security breaches has pulled the curtain back to show us just how insecure every kind of information store is, and I for one am thankful to know that the emperor has no clothes. The utilities can find some other way to manage power usage; remotely operating my house is not going to be one of them anytime soon, as far as I'm concerned.
Well, maybe if the utilities didn't act like idiots most of the time, it would be an easier sell. The whole conservation effort has been undermined in ontario, canada when the government owned utility decided that people conserved too much energy and they needed to up the rates to meet revenue targets. That kind of action relegates any desire to help save energy to the dustbin.