Frequently Asked Questions

Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC) offers introductory answers to frequently asked questions about SECC and SECC Membership. Scroll to the subject heading below to view questions and answers relating to your selection. Links throughout the answers will guide you to further information on our website or from other sources. Should you have any further questions, please consult our Contact page.

About SECC

What is the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative?

SECC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to serve as a trusted source of information for industry stakeholders seeking a broad understanding of consumers' views about grid modernization, electricity delivery, and energy usage, and for consumers seeking an understanding of the value and experience of a modern electrical grid.

SECC's vision is that most consumers have a broad understanding about the benefits of a modern grid and engaged consumers are informed and have a positive experience with energy technology.

What are the core activities of SECC?

The work of SECC can be defined by three pillars. SECC seeks to:

  • Listen to consumers via primary consumer research
  • Collaborate with stakeholders via hosted events and shared best practices
  • Educate consumers via outreach and messaging toolkits

What are the research activities of the SECC?

SECC listens to consumers via timely, shared-cost research that explores their wants, their needs and their understanding of how they stand to benefit from grid modernization. SECC continues to add valuable material to this section by conducting our ongoing consumer research – a vital process in our mission to listen, educate and collaborate. See SECC's research here.

What are the collaborative activities of SECC?

SECC maintains a knowledge base of best practices in areas including customer engagement, privacy, education, outreach and customer support relating to the smart grid. These best practices are developed and shared among all stakeholders including through our Annual Consumer Symposiums and our Annual Members Meetings.

What are the educational activities of the SECC?

Using findings from market research and case studies, SECC produces educational materials, like our educational website, designed to communicate to consumers the key issues and the benefits of the smart grid. These tools are made available to member organizations and are at their disposal for use in smart grid outreach efforts. Explore SECC's Consumer Information Kit for the Smart Grid that addresses important consumer topics including consumer benefits, data privacy, debunking myths, outage restoration, power quality, pricing plans and health concerns.

Does the SECC address legislative issues that impact the consumer?

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, SECC cannot legally engage in political activities beyond educating policymakers on smart grid issues. As such, SECC does not hire lobbyists to influence legislation at a federal or state level, does not organize grassroots campaigns to lobby for pro-smart grid legislation, does not have a political action committee (PAC) and does not use member funds for political contributions.

When was SECC founded?

SECC was founded on March 17, 2010. SECC updated its named from Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative to Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative on September 13, 2017.

Where is SECC based?

SECC was charted in 2010 in Redmond, Washington. SECC staff are located throughout the U.S. and our main office is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

How can I request SECC’s public documents?

SECC's IRS Determination Letter, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, 990 Filings, and Form 1023 are available to any member of the public upon request.

How is SECC governed?

SECC's Board of Directors is made up of members who represent commercial, utility and consumer advocacy organizations along with SECC’s legal counsel and president. Started in 2010, SECC’s Board has staggered terms, with approximately half the directors elected each year to a two-year term.

About SECC Membership

What committee roles are available for members?

There are currently working committees focused on research, education and outreach, marketing/PR and membership. The committees usually meet through conference calls.

What access do members have to research data collected by SECC?

SECC members enjoy full access to both the top line and in-depth results of market research. Findings that are deemed important for public use are widely released via special announcements.

What are the membership fees?

Commercial entities pay $2,500 to $20,000 per year on a sliding scale corresponding with annual revenue. Utility members join for an annual fee of $10,000. Municipals and co-ops pay $2,500 to $10,000 per year according to consumer base. There is also an Affiliate level of membership for consumer advocacy and similar groups. For more details, contact or submit our online form.

How do I join SECC?

Contact to obtain a membership application specific to your organization or fill out our online form. All applications go to the Board of Directors for final approval and are activated upon signing an agreement and paying the membership fee, if any.

Who can join the SECC?

SECC is open to all consumer and environmental advocates, technology vendors, research scientists, municipals, co-ops and electric utilities that want to get involved in its mission of listening to consumer needs, educating consumers about smart grid and collaborating in ways that include best practices. Read more here.

What are the different levels of membership?

There are two membership levels: Full Membership and Affiliate Membership. Full Memberships apply to business and commercial entities. Affiliate Memberships apply to nonprofit organizations, academia, research labs and advocacy groups. Read how to join here.

What are the responsibilities of membership in the SECC?

Members are expected to pay their dues in full and on time; to support the mission and goals of SECC; to abide by all rules pertaining to anti-trust and intellectual property; and to designate at least one (1) person to serve on at least one (1) working committee.