This month’s Smart Grid Index (SGI) results show that overall Smart Grid sentiment increased by four percentage points in February (71% in February vs. 67% in January). Utility sentiment increased for the fourth month in row, up by twelve percentage points in February, while vendor sentiment increased by nine percentage points. Surprisingly, 52% of executives did not believe that U.S. utilities were adequately educating customers about the Smart Grid and/or smart meters. Only 6% said U.S. utilities were doing a great job of educating their customers.

Half of all respondents said they expect Smart Grid related hiring to increase over the next 12 months. However, only 37% of utilities indicated they expect to hire new staff to fill Smart Grid roles (vs. 50% of vendors).

Forty-four percent of the vendors surveyed closed a new deal last month, while 70% of utilities expect to submit new Smart Grid proposals for budget approval over the next 12 months.

A small sample of utilities (12) reported their estimated 2013 Smart Grid expenditures. Among this group, the median 2013 utility Smart Grid budget was $4 million. Three utilities reported estimated budgets $50 million or more.

This study was conducted by Zpryme and FierceSmartGrid by surveying 220 Smart Grid executives from February 3rd to February 18th of 2013. The survey was conducted online. Please note that percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding. Three groups were used to inspect for differences: vendors (58% of sample), utilities (15% of sample), and total sample.

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