Antenna, a public relations agency focused on energy and smart technology companies, announced new survey results that found nearly half of surveyed utility executives believe the smart home will revolutionize the utility industry. This surging optimism for the smart home represents a departure from the industry's traditional skepticism of new technologies, while also putting the utility industry at odds with a more cautious view of the smart home currently held by consumers.
Further survey results revealed that:
- Just 22 percent of utility industry executives believe the utility death spiral will come to fruition in the next 30 years. The utility death spiral is the concept that more solar customers scale the industry and drive down costs, which in turn incentivizes more consumers to leave their utility for solar.
- More than 65 percent of utility industry executives felt that their organization communicated well with customers.
Despite the utility industry's optimistic self-assessment, research from the American Customer Satisfaction Index found that utility residential customer satisfaction dropped 3.2 percent in 2015. Moreover, hurdles to installing smart home technologies remain significant. A recent Support.com consumer study found that 67 percent of potential purchasers say the cost to buy, install and maintain a smart home system is the top obstacle to buying smart home devices or systems. The Support.com survey also reports that 43 percent of potential smart home device buyers are concerned with the complexity of installing and configuring smart home systems.
“Antenna's research confirms that many in the utility industry now believe in the transformative power of the smart home to remake the grid for the better,” said Antenna Vice President Matt Stewart. “However, there's a clear disconnect between utility visions of roses and rainbows and their customers' more frustrating early-adopter experiences. Antenna is honored to work with dozens of innovative companies across energy and smart technology to help bridge this critical gap and move the energy market forward.”
Antenna recently launched its Smart Life practice to work with the best of technology, focusing on the Internet of Things. From self-driving cars to supply chain infrastructure, Smart Life companies help people lead easier, less costly lives. Smart Life encompasses the connected home, energy efficiency and management, transit, infrastructure, security, logistics and enterprise technologies.
Antenna conducted the survey with 104 utility industry executives attending DistribuTECH, the largest annual power delivery conference & expo in North America covering the utility industry from end-to-end.