Smart Grid: What it means to the customers?
Smart Grid is considered as a large program for benefit of utilities as well as for the customers. However majority of the customers are finding it either too heavy to digest or something which will have adverse affect to the rates. Customer's apprehensions such as cost recovery of investment through the new service offerings or health hazards due to smart meter communication technologies etc., are most common.
Customers are most influencing actors for success of Smart Grid journey (this I discussed in my earlier blog). So customers concerns should be handled priority basis.
Utilities all communication channels (web, mail, phone etc) should promote & educate Smart Grid as a process or tool which will enable customers for better energy control & management which will eventually turn to lower energy consumption & cost.
During the Smart Grid pilot & programs, by maximizing the customer participation, utility should prove it on the ground and share the results with the society. Pilot participated customers should be encouraged to share experience with the society.
Call center representatives which traditional customers find most convenient to approach, should be trained enough to address customer concerns effectively rather than answering generic.
These initiatives will improve customer understanding and will address majority of the concerns. Hence customers will be more supportive and enthusiastic for this large complex program even before it is fully deployed.