Most Consumers Feel They Only Moderately Understand How Smart Grid Technology Works
Survey from Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity International Suggests that Increased Education on Smart Grid is Needed
PR Newswire

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Appliances that use Smart Grid technology are considered by experts to be the future of environmentally sustainable homes and green building. However, a recent survey found that most consumers (70%) that are aware of Smart Grid technology feel they only somewhat understand how it works. In addition, only 43 percent of all consumer respondents indicated they know what Smart Grid technology is, although the number was greater for respondents in the upper middle (63%) and high-income (57%) segments. The survey was conducted on behalf of Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and Habitat for Humanity International by the NAHB Research Center*, which reported opinions from consumers and builders on topics related to green home building.

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In an interesting look at the group's perception of their peers, the consumer portion of the survey also showed that of all Smart Grid-aware respondents, only 35 percent believe their community somewhat understands Smart Grid technology. A total of 46 percent of the same segment said they feel their community does not understand the technology at all.

"These survey findings suggest that there needs to be greater emphasis on Smart Grid education among all of us, which would encourage more green building," said Warwick Stirling, Global Director of Energy and Sustainability, Whirlpool Corporation. "Whirlpool has committed to make all of its appliances Smart Grid-compatible by the end of 2015, so it understands how important it is to have everyone working together to promote knowledge on the topic of Smart Grid."

The builder portion of the survey showed a similar perception of consumer knowledge on the subject. Of all Smart Grid-aware respondents, 62 percent said that they believe homeowners do not understand Smart Grid technology at all. Smart Grid-aware builder respondents generally felt more confident with their own knowledge of the technology, with 79 percent answering that they at least somewhat understand how it works. A total of 51 percent of Smart Grid-aware builder respondents noted that they believe the home building industry as a whole understands how the technology works.

An encouraging find in the consumer survey was that 48 percent of Smart Grid-aware respondents indicated that Smart Grid-compatible appliances will be very important to green homes. In the builder survey, 64 percent of Smart Grid-aware respondents said these appliances will be at least somewhat important to green homes in the future.  

The primary information sources from which Smart Grid-aware consumer respondents learned about Smart Grid technology were: the internet (51%), television/radio (46%) and magazines/periodicals (28%).

This is the third in a series of findings on the Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity survey on green homes that was conducted among consumers and builders. The first was issued on November 16, 2010 and the second on January 20, 2011:

Further results from the survey will be discussed in subsequent reports. For more information on the partnership between Whirlpool and Habitat, visit

About Whirlpool Corporation

In more than 11 years of partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Whirlpool Corporation has developed active partnerships in 22 countries with a commitment nearing $72 million. In North America, the company has donated more than 130,000 ranges and ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators to new Habitat homes, serving 65,000 families. Additionally, Whirlpool has donated more than 25,000 products to Habitat ReStore resale outlets, helping raise $3.5 million in two years. A proud sponsor of Habitat's Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project since 2003, the company has engaged 7,000 employee volunteers, sponsored more than 100 homes around the world and served more than 16,200 families in Europe. Whirlpool plans to support the work of Habitat around the world through product donations, financial contribution or volunteerism. For more information, go to

Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $18 billion in 2010, 71,000 employees, and 67 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world.  The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world.  Additional information about the company can be found at

About Whirlpool Corporation's 100th Anniversary

Founded on November 11, 1911, Whirlpool Corporation's time- and labor-saving appliance innovations have influenced home and family life during the last century.  Driven by the belief that everyone needs a comfortable place to call home, Whirlpool Corporation is focused on improving lives one family, one home at a time.


The builder portion of the study surveyed 304 respondents and was conducted from July 23Aug. 4, 2010, using an online format. Members of the NAHB Research Center Online Builder Panel were invited to take the survey and respondents were required to be an active homebuilder or general contractor. The consumer portion surveyed 1,092 homeowners from Aug. 23-25, 2010, using an online format. Consumers nationwide were invited to take the survey through email invitations.

*The NAHB Research Center is an independent subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

SOURCE Whirlpool Corporation