Ed. note: This detailed policy report complements our recent case study, The EmPOWERed Consumer, released in December '15.

Oakland and Sacramento, CA – More Than Smart (MTS) and the Mission:data Coalition today announced the release of Got Data? The Value of Energy Data Access to Consumers, an in-depth report documenting how consumers can leverage smart meters to help solve America’s biggest energy challenge – energy use in homes and buildings.

“We show that energy savings of 6% to 18% or more are possible when consumers have access to their own electronic data collected by smart meters,” said Michael Murray, Chief Technology Strategist and lead author of the new report.  “Advanced meters nation-wide have been underutilized, despite huge taxpayer and ratepayer investments. New data-driven technologies, such as smartphone apps, can significantly reduce energy use, saving consumers billions of dollars. In this report we provide a policy roadmap to help regulators use advanced metering infrastructure to reap benefits for customers.”

Homes and buildings represent about 70% of electricity use nationwide and 39% of greenhouse gas emissions. Today’s report documents state policies that empower customers to use their energy use data for conservation purposes while simultaneously protecting privacy. Smart meters collect usage data in 15-minute or hourly intervals, information that, when analyzed, provides unique insights into savings opportunities. But that information is rarely available in a consistent, simple, electronic format. The report summarizes the research findings from 12 studies showing 6% to 18% energy savings when smart meter data are combined with new technologies. The report offers detailed policy recommendations for public utility commissions to realize the value from smart meters, increase private sector innovation in energy efficiency and energy management, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Empowering consumers with access their own data is an important consumer rights issue.  New meters generate tons of useful data, but it doesn’t mean anything to consumers if they cannot get access to their own data and realize the savings made possible by new technologies,” said Jim Hawley, Director of the Mission:data Coalition and co-author of the report. “An important first step is to give consumers access to their own usage and cost data -- and the tools to make energy savings simple and easy.  This report details the policy roadmap developed by leading states to deliver on the promise of advanced meters for consumers.”

"Got Data?" can be downloaded here. Detailed information about More Than Smart can be found at www.morethansmart.org