CEA: Consumers want to save energy, but lack technology know-how

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A recent survey by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has found that consumers want smart, energy-efficient technology, but lack the knowledge of current electricity management systems required for widespread acceptance of the technology.

"What is evident from our study is that for an overall conservation effort to succeed, there should be buy-in from multiple stakeholders--government, consumers themselves, retailers and manufacturers, as well as NGOs as no single solution alone will reduce consumption," said CEA Senior Research Analyst Ben Arnold in an interview with FierceEnergy.

"That said, our study indicates consumer associations, like the Better Business  Bureau and utility companies, are most trusted when it comes to collecting and analyzing electricity usage data, so these organizations are really best suited to effectively speak to consumers about controlling and managing their consumption."

Utility companies in particular can have a positive effect on consumer usage habits since they are both trusted and the primary interface consumers have with their energy consumption.

The monthly bill and usage statement is where consumers most often monitor their electricity usage, so from an awareness standpoint, it would make sense for utilities to connect with messaging in this environment. With costs at the forefront of motivations for managing electricity use, the bill or statement has the added benefit of reaching consumers when they are thinking about their consumption and when they may be contemplating ways to lower their bill.

When consumers who are currently aware of electricity management programs in their area were asked how they first became aware of the program, utility company outreach was cited, reinforcing the credibility utilities have, according to Arnold. Recommendations from friends and family were also mentioned--an indication that one's social network is also a trusted source.

For more:
- see this release

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