Last month, New Hampshire became the latest state to consider a state-wide energy data-sharing portal for the purposes of promoting distributed energy resources (DERs).
No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.
Since the electric utility industry’s inception over a century ago, utilities have acted in -- or meddled with, depending upon your point of view -- markets adjacent to the traditional power business. Anti-trust enforcement is an often-ignored tool in the toolbox that deserves reexamination for at least three reasons.
An interview with David Havyatt, Senior Economist at Energy Consumers Australia about his country’s Consumer Data Right.
Today, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) approved recommended improvements to streamline the Smart Meter Texas (SMT) portal at the Commission’s open meeting. Texas will update the Smart Meter Texas portal to be more in line with national standards such as Green Button, which provides a standardized data format for software developers to develop application programming interfaces (APIs) with the system.
Compared to the regulated world of utilities, the Cambridge Analytica incident feels like the Wild West of data sharing. While technical topics such as XML are involved with the sharing of energy data, the most important issue is not technical at all. Rather, it’s about consent: In online transactions, how can we make sure that customers know what they’re doing?
Now that energy data access is the law of the land for over 25 million utility customers, it is worth looking at how other sectors of the economy have handled issues of large-scale digitalization of personal records. In this post, we look at other industries both inside and outside the U.S. from the perspective of consumer data: How and when is it difficult to access, even when the customer’s permission is obtained? And what might the current state of data sharing in healthcare and personal finance portend about utility data in the years to come?
As we noted last fall, Smart Meter Texas (SMT) was ahead of its time -- a great concept, but poorly executed. But a comprehensive settlement agreement filed this week at the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) promises the most significant improvements to SMT since 2014.
#1. SMT’s conceptual design was ahead of its time. In 2008, while some states’ smart meter deployments were delayed by large protests, and other utilities struggled to understand and operationalize “big data” concepts for the first time, Texas embarked on what is still today a cutting edge design: a centralized web portal across most of the state.
Attendees of NARUC's Summer Policy Summit in San Diego were encouraged to download a NARUC app to facilitate in-person meetings. There’s just one problem: The smartphone app would violate the privacy rules adopted by commissions in several states.