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15 Customer View of Smart Grid--Set and Forget? > Consumer Adoption - Pg. 379

Chapter | 15 Customer View of Smart Grid--Set and Forget? 379 With a well-designed system, consumers are expected to be able to save money on their energy bills and enjoy automation conveniences. The key is to design the automation around consumer activities, such as laundry, cooking, keeping their home comfortable, watching TV or movies, working at home, lis- tening to music, reading, playing games, keeping their phones and tablets charged up and ready to use, going to bed, getting up, coming home, leaving home, and washing dishes. Consumer lives are not organized by demand response events, peak hours, or whether one appliance uses more energy than another. Therefore, if we want the smart grid to be adopted by consumers, we need to make it relevant for consumers and easy for all members of the family to use. Is there any interest in home automation? A report issued by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative provides some interesting insights that are relevant here. 6 Based on a study by Best Buy, consumers gain status, at least in the short term, by having the latest gadgets or automation. 7 However, paradoxi- cally, "those who are most motivated by cost savings on their bill are not neces- sarily the ones willing to pay more for a home energy management system that will allow them to achieve their goals." 8 So, while it may be useful to let cus- tomers know what the utility industry is helping consumers to do--reduce peak energy use and use energy wisely--selling consumers on the idea of home auto-