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.

Senate Bill 284 would create an “multi-use online energy data platform.” The state’s three investor-owned utilities, Eversource, Liberty Utilities and Unitil, would be required to provide customer data — including smart meter data — to a centralized repository. From there, the data would be used for several purposes, including research on customer responses to time-of-use (TOU) rates and, of course, permission-based access to third party DER providers.

The bill’s origins began in 2017 in a Unitil rate case settlement. Unitil, Commission Staff and the Office of the Consumer Advocate agreed to create an “energy data plan.” The first step was designing a comprehensive data model based on the information collected by utility I.T. systems. Then, in January, Staff issued recommendations on grid modernization (IR 15-296), calling for adoption of Green Button Connect (GBC) as a way to facilitate interoperability with DERs.

In a presentation to the Senate, the energy data platform was touted as way to avoid substantial duplicative investments in I.T. systems by the state’s electric utilities. One use of the platform is demand response: “The data platform can be used by aggregators, such as a Demand Response providers, to validate customer usage for payment.”

Texas was the first state to establish a state-wide energy data repository called Smart Meter Texas. Last year, Washington, D.C.’s Council introduced the DER Authority Act that, if passed, would put a new District agency in charge of customer energy data and data about the power grid.

New Hampshire’s SB 284 passed the Senate, and the bill now goes to the House of Representatives.