Potential of New Consumer Services within the Smart Grid Context
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In recent years, the power sector has demonstrated an increasing interest in exploiting new business opportunities related to the introduction of a smarter transmission grid. A Smart Grid is an intelligent electricity network that may integrate the actions of generators and consumers simultaneously in order to efficiently deliver sustainable, economic and secure electricity supply. Thus, a Smart Grid may provide a dynamic platform for delivery of services and involvement of residential consumers in the same way made possible in the telecommunications industry. The introduction of AMR technology in all Norwegian households is the first indicator of the adoption of a Smart distribution network.This dissertation distinguishes what is essential for energy companies to focus on in order to accomplish a successful market launch of new services targeted at residential consumer, delivered through a Smart Grid. As part of the research it was conducted four interviews with relevant stakeholders from the ICT and energy sectors. However, there is little actual market data available on service activities. Due to the lack of sufficient market data, a comprehensive questionnaire targeted on consumers was also conducted in order to gain a solid marked data basis to underpin strategic recommendations. The consumer survey was analyzed using statistical modeling techniques. The analysis results, along with the interviews concluded in five main findings: 1. Norwegian consumers state they are highly interested in purchasing Smart energy services. More than 64% of the respondents say it is relevant or highly relevant to purchase a service that offers Security features for electrical home appliances (i.e. automatic shutdown if security threat).2. Norwegian consumers want to combine Smart energy services with consumption information, therefore Smart energy services should be supplemented by an energy price information platform. 3. Consumers is interested in purchasing radical Smart energy service innovations in order to save money on energy consumption. 4. Environmental friendliness and knowledge to the Smart Grid concept has little impact on the interest of services.5. Communication strategy will be essential prior to and during a market launch. There is a very strong positive effect between if the consumers are familiar with a Smart energy service, and if they state they want to purchase these services. In an effective Smart energy service launch Norwegian energy companies should adopt a multi-faceted approach. Participants should seek to be early followers, target innovators and early adopters, apply online marketing channels, use advertising, long tail and free-and-premium as payment models to attract the market, and price long-tail services at a relatively high level in order to make as early return on investment as possible. In addition, it will be important to maintain a close relationship with consumers through focus groups, market research and pilot projects in the development process leading up to the market launch in order to identify the most profitable service ideas.