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A new study conducted by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC) reveals that the majority of residential consumers and small and medium business customers (SMBs) prefer an alternative, time-varying energy rate plan when given a choice.

The study Rate Design: What Do Consumers Want and Need? reveals that:

  • 80% of residential consumers understand that electricity usage is measured in kWh; however, roughly half are not sure what rate plan they currently have.

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  • Gen-Xers and millennials are more likely to be interested in alternative rates, as are tech-savvy and eco-friendly customer segments.

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  • SMBs are much more knowledgeable about their current rate plan, and 88% understand that electricity usage is measured in kWh.
  • Both SMBs and residential consumers largely reject demand charges and premiums associated with a renewable energy source (e.g., solar, biomass and wind).
  • Due to smart meters, the growth of distributed energy resources and other factors, electricity providers are increasingly looking to balance daily load with rate structures that encourage customers to distribute their energy usage throughout the day
  • Most Americans pay a flat rate for each kWh of electricity on their monthly bill
  • More consumer education on alternative rate plan is needed

The study comprised 1,100 residential consumers and 500SMBs across the US.

The study is available for download here, only by SECC members.