All-new consumer research shows that electric utility customers will monitor their energy usage more frequently in the coming smart grid era, industry research firm Chartwell Inc. reports.

A recently completed survey of more than 1,500 energy customers found that a clear majority – over 70% -- monitor their energy usage on a monthly basis. When asked how they would like to monitor their energy usage in the future, far less answered monthly, while the number of consumers who would like to see weekly or daily energy usage jumped significantly from those who reported they currently view their energy data in those intervals.

“It’s clear through our research that electric utility customers in the U.S. and Canada will definitely look to monitor their energy usage more frequently when the technology is available, but they don’t see the need to view it in 15-minute or hourly increments,” says Scott Johnson, Sr. research analyst with Chartwell. “We have found that utilities will have to do a lot in the way of educating consumers on the value of this data as well as put other incentives on the table, most notably money.”

Chartwell has conducted 3,000-plus consumer surveys and several focus groups since last year for its Smart Grid Customer Engagement (SGCE) Council, a utility-only group facilitated by Chartwell that looks at customer engagement issues and directs Chartwell researchers.

The Council is examining how customers prefer to monitor energy usage and the channels in which they would rather get that information, from paper statements to in-home displays to smart phones and apps.