Over the last 12 months, the utility industry has witnessed progress on two fronts: the recognition by governments of the importance of fiscal stimulus in kick-starting the transition to the low-carbon economy and the centrality of smart grids as an enabler for a set of low-carbon technologies and solutions. As a result, there has been a substantial increase in the number of smart grid pilots being implemented, with industry estimates at around 90 pilots globally1. For this report, over 60 industry and policy/regulatory stakeholders were engaged to identify the factors that determine the success, or otherwise, of smart grid pilots. The global analysis identified a number of issues across the pilot life cycle that are preventing pilots from reaching their full potential. Our report presents several recommendations for stakeholders: the crucial role of the regulator in incentivizing smart grid pilots by providing clarity over funding and stranded assets; the need for the utility to apply rigor to pilot scoping with a mixture of consumer-centric and grid-centric technologies and to develop compelling consumer value propositions and outreach programmes while understanding operating model and business model implications of smart technologies; and the need for cross-industry collaboration to form multidisciplinary consortia and to increase international knowledge.