Customers Want Smart Meter Data and Are Willing to Pay For It

Top Quote E Source Study Finds 65% Want Electricity Use Information. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) June 07, 2011 - BOULDER, CO - Recent analysis by E Source reveals a strong interest among residential customers in smart meter data, which includes "viewing daily and hourly energy use online, on a smart phone, or on a display" as well as "seeing the energy use of each appliance." Using data from the most recent Nielsen Energy Survey, E Source evaluated the results and found that almost 65 percent of residential customers surveyed are very (36 percent) or somewhat (29 percent) interested in seeing such information.

    Customers were also asked whether they would pay for electricity use information. "We were surprised to learn that 15 percent of the population would be willing to pay up to $10/month for smart meter data," says Michael Peacock, E Source Smart Grid Program Director. "About 27 percent are willing to pay $5/month, and 47 percent would pay $1/month."

    E Source found that age also affects willingness to pay. Around 37 percent of younger customers (ages 18-34) would be willing to pay $5/month, whereas only 9 percent of older customers (age 55 or older) would be willing to pay that much. Peacock adds, "Younger customers are generally more in touch with advanced technologies, but we had not anticipated their willingness to pay to get this data in a world where information is often expected to be free."

    Another factor E Source looked at was the effect of household income on customers' willingness to buy smart meter information. E Source discovered that the lowest income group (earning $25,000 a year or less) had a slightly higher desire at all price points than their higher-income counterparts. "This likely indicates a need for lower-income households to better manage their monthly bills, and to do that, they need better information. Similarly, we found renters to be slightly more interested in smart meter information than homeowners," Peacock says.

    E Source discovered that customers' interest in smart meters is also influenced by their individual satisfaction with the utility. Peacock says, "It appears that customers who rate their utility poorly are either more inclined to want smart meter data so they can 'monitor' their own energy use or less inclined to want it because they want nothing to do with a new device that might add to their costs."

    The E Source study looks at other variables including type of home, home ownership, household size, gender, marital status, and ethnicity. For more information on the study, visit the E Source website at

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