A lack of Government education is causing Australia to lag behind in Smart Technology adoption at the consumer level, according to new research.
The Residential Energy Management in Australia 2010 report conducted by Connection Research found a number of issues in Smart Grid technology adoption unique to Australia.
According to the report, for Smart Technology to work, a consumer needs to first understand its benefits such as the ability to monitor their energy usage and become aware of varying time of use electricity tariffs.
Connection Research co-author of the report, Max Phillipson, indicated the less-than-spectacular Smart Technology rollout in Victoria, could be attributed to utility companies having access to this information, but consumers missing out.
The report indicated that if the benefits of these technologies are perceived as benefiting the utility companies more than the consumer, there could be a backlash. About 2700 households were surveyed in this report.
More than half of those surveyed say one of the most significant advantages of smart meters was the ability to monitor and control energy usage, rather than the energy company.
What’s interesting about this is Australia plays host to some of the largest smart grid players, including IBM, Logica and Cisco, but the same vision that is being realised overseas isn’t happening here yet, Phillipson said.
Even though Australia is still at the early adoption stage of Smart Grid technology, Phillipson expects the education situation to improve in the longer term.
“Australia is pretty clueless,” he said. “If the Government wants more successful roll outs, it needs to do a better job of education.”