Forbes has a column looking at a survey into people's attitudes regarding a smart grid model which allows utilities to remotely control home appliances to adjust demand to match supply - Would You Let The Power Company Control Your Appliances?.
How big a discount would your electricity provider have to get on your rates before you'd be willing to give them the ability to remotely control appliances like your clothes dryer, air conditioning, pool pump or big-screen TV during times of peak power demand?
Power companies around the world are giddy about the potential energy savings from all these smart meters they're installing for customers. It makes sense that people will voluntarily wait to run their clothes dryer until cheaper off-peak hours. But what about the potential for power companies to control your loads remotely?
Accenture set out to answer that question by surveying 9,000 people in 17 countries. The results are surprising.
An astonishing 16% of respondents said they would be willing to give up control to the power company even if they received no benefit from lower rates and even if they had no override power over the remote control. I guess altruism is alive and well.
Predictably, the potential adoption rates rise with the offer of price discounts. A 10% overall rate discount lured a quarter of respondents, while one-third said they would give up control for a 20% discount.
Given that same 20% savings, half of respondents said they would let the electric company control appliances given the assurance that they could override the decision.