Mission:data Coalition applauds New York’s leadership to require consumer data access with ConEd’s smart meter deployment


Mission:data Coalition applauds New York’s leadership to require consumer data access with ConEd’s smart meter deployment

March 18, 2016

The Mission:data Coalition, a coalition of technology companies delivering consumer-focused energy savings for homes and businesses, today applauded the New York Public Service Commission’s approval of ConEd’s AMI business plan to deploy advanced metering infrastructure on the condition that the utility provide both Home Area Network (“HAN”) functionality and implement Green Button Connect. This represents a significant win for New York consumers who will be empowered with free, easy access to their own energy usage data, a key enabler to the use of new technologies that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

“Mission:data applauds the Commission for its leadership in implementing advanced metering in a way that will provide New Yorkers access to their own energy usage data – a powerful new tool to help consumers reduce their electric bills,” said Jim Hawley, Director of the Mission:data Coalition.  “According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, giving consumers access to their usage data can enable them to reduce energy use by 12% or more.  By making it clear that consumers must receive prompt, convenient access to their own data and broad access to third party tools, this Order positions New York as a national leader in consumer empowerment and data-driven energy efficiency.”

"Con Edison makes several strong arguments for adopting Green Button Connect: it's secure, it's a nation-wide standard, and it empowers customers with access to a wide range of efficiency solutions,” said Michael Murray, Chief Technology Strategist for the Mission:data Coalition. “We're immensely pleased that Con Edison will be providing this foundational technology to support a clean and distributed energy future.”

When implemented, the Commission’s action will expand the number of advanced meters nation-wide for which data access has been enabled to more than 28 million.

The Mission:data Coalition is a coalition of more than 35 energy management technology companies helping residential and business consumers save energy through advanced, data-driven technologies. The coalition works in states throughout the country on behalf of consumer-friendly data access policies to help consumers save energy and money. More information about the Mission:data Coalition can be found at www.missiondata.org


"Got Data?" Report Shows Benefits of Consumer Access to Their Energy Data


"Got Data?" Report Shows Benefits of Consumer Access to Their Energy Data

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



New York REV workshop on data access written up in "Smart Grid Today"

Today's Smart Grid Today features an article titled "No one argues against data sharing in REV effort" (paywall). Some great quotes from participants, including our own Cameron Brooks, are captured in the article and in the official transcript of the December 16th, 2015 technical workshop held in Albany. The workshop's agenda included presentations from Mission:data, U.S. Department of Energy, NYSERDA and several utilities.

"This basic level of service [Green Button Connect], which is exactly what consumers are getting in every other sector of the economy, should be delivered as part of basic utility service with any implementation investments included in base rates accordingly."  -- Cameron Brooks

"Energy and information are inseparable commodities, and to serve energy without information is increasingly unacceptable." -- Chris Irwin, U.S. DOE

"New York consumers spend $23 billion on energy. Every improvement of 1% represents $100 million of customer benefit." -- Cameron Brooks

A follow-up technical conference will be held in Albany January 20th, 2016 to discuss the DOE Voluntary Code of Conduct, something we covered before.


New report documents the benefits of consumer energy data access


New report documents the benefits of consumer energy data access

Sacramento, CA – The Mission:data Coalition, a coalition of technology companies delivering consumer-focused energy savings for homes and businesses, today announced release of The EmPOWERED Consumer, a report documenting how consumers’ access to their own energy data can help solve America’s biggest energy challenge – energy use in buildings.

“Our challenge is how to reduce energy use in homes and buildings, and new data-driven technologies have emerged as one of our most powerful tools to better manage that use,” said Jim Hawley of the Coalition.  “This report highlights the leadership of California, Texas and Illinois and offers insights into the energy and monetary savings that residents of those states are beginning to achieve.”

“More than 50 million advanced meters in the U.S. can provide consumers with detailed information about their energy use, enabling consumers to use new energy management technologies to achieve big energy savings.  The problem is that many states have not provided consumers with access to their own data from these ratepayer or taxpayer-funded investments, missing a big opportunity for their consumers to save energy and money,” said Michael Murray, also of the Coalition.

Today’s report documents the leadership of three states – California, Texas, and Illinois – in providing consumers access to their detailed energy usage data from their advanced or “smart” meters, free of charge, and the ability to use this data to save energy.  Providing consumers with access to their energy data enables household energy savings averaging up to 12% or more.  With data access now enabled or being enabled in these states, consumers are beginning to realize significant energy savings, often at a fraction of the cost of traditional energy efficiency programs.  And because U.S. buildings represent the one of the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, the savings enabled by consumer access to energy data represent an opportunity to cost-effectively address the issue of climate change.

“Data access is key to unlocking customer insights and benefits through the advanced analytics offered by our Energy Intelligence Software,” said Mona Tierney-Lloyd, Board Member of Mission:data and Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs for EnerNOC, Inc.  “The rules adopted in California and Texas and being considered in Illinois provide customers and their trusted advisors with data access and has allowed us to help customers be wiser consumers and better energy managers.  The data access unlocked by these states has meant we’ve been able to help a variety of customers across the commercial and industrial spectrum.”

Detailed information about The Empowered Consumer and the Mission:data coalition can be found at www.missiondata.org.



What does 'third party-led' data access mean?


What does 'third party-led' data access mean?

On October 16th, 2015, ERCOT held a workshop on "Improving Third Party Access to Smart Meter Texas (SMT)" in Austin, Texas. My presentation focused on third party-led authorizations. To understand what that means, let us begin by describing a typical, customer-led authorization.

Jane Smith wants to share her smart meter data with her thermostat maker (or any third party energy services provider). The thermostat company offers energy management tools through its website and accompanying smartphone app. By sharing energy use data, Jane can receive text/SMS notifications when there are opportunities to cut her monthly bills. So Jane goes to her utility (in monopoly states) or the Smart Meter Texas (SMT) website (if a resident in a competitive area of Texas). She logs in, then clicks to share her data with the thermostat company.

Sounds simple, right? For tech-savvy users, the process might seem easy at first. But it can be a pain, even for those with smartphones and lots of computer expertise. Here are some key friction points:

  • First, Jane agrees online, on the phone, or in person to sign up for the thermostat's service.
  • Next, Jane needs an account on her utility's website (or with SMT, if in Texas). SMT requires the name of your current Retail Electric Provider (REP), your ESIID and meter number in order to create an account. Good luck finding that information! Unfortunately, SMT (run by the distribution utilities, not the retail energy providers) has no idea who you are, so your social security number and mother's maiden name won't provide a shortcut.
  • Upon creating an online account, many customers are forced to sacrifice paper bills and receive e-bills only. For many businesses, internal financial controls and accounts payable processes may require paper bills that arrive by snail mail. So online accounts aren't always possible.
  • Once Jane has an online account with SMT, the thermostat company must send an invitation by email to Jane asking for her approval to access her data.
  • Jane has to log back into SMT, where it might take three to six clicks to actually share the usage data. Most utilities lack incentives to make their websites usable and conform with modern best practices, so finding the Green Button needle in the haystack could result in a failure rate of customers at this stage of 30-50% or more.  There may be technical support calls with the thermostat company to walk Jane through the process.
  • In Colorado and other states, utilities have lengthy forms for you to fill out before they are comfortable sharing anything. You may need to find your meter ID number (difficult for property managers who oversee many locations). You'll need to specify whether the data-sharing is one-time or ongoing and the purpose of the thermostat company's software, and set an expiration date for data sharing.

These are only a few of the barriers. That's why a third party-led process can be refreshingly easy. Here's how it works: Jane downloads the smartphone app that's tied to her thermostat. It prompts her to enter her address and take a photo of her meter and/or her electric bill. The photo contains the meter ID number or account number that's needed to validate Jane's identity. But Jane doesn't need to know that - she just needs to snap a photo. Jane clicks "Submit," and her energy management service begins immediately.

The benefits of a third party-led authorization process over a customer-led process are compelling. They include:

  • There are no forms to fill out
  • The third party takes care of everything
  • The customer is not bounced like a ping-pong ball between app maker and utility if there's a problem
  • The app maker, unlike the utility, is incented to make the pocess as easy and smooth as possible



Environmental Defense Fund & Mission:data Support Data Access in Pennsylvania

This week, Environmental Defense Fund's Midwest Clean Energy Director, Dick Munson, blogged about our joint effort to support data access at Pennsylvania's Public Utilities Commission:

"Data access is central to customers realizing value from a utility’s investments in advanced energy measurement, and technology can further unlock the potential. But most people do not have the time to become an expert energy analyst simply to identify cost-effective efficiency opportunities. Therefore, most of us will rely on technologies, such as smart thermostats, and third parties to digest and synthesize meter data into actionable steps that increase efficiency, save money, and cut pollution."

The proceeding at PaPUC is docket number M-2009-2092655, "Submission of the Electronic Data Exchange Working Group's Web Portal Working Group's Solution Framework for Historical Interval Usage and Billing Quality Interval Use." The PaPUC has required electric distribution companies (EDCs, as the utilities are referred to in Pennsylvania) to implement data access not only for retail energy suppliers (electric generation suppliers, or EDSs), but also for other entities who have obtained customer consent. 

However, the working group's report from Feb 17th, 2015 is a proposal for serving only retailers, leaving no pathway for other entities to help Pennsylvanians reduce their energy usage. EDF and Mission:data asked the PaPUC to open a separate docket covering data access to non-retail third parties.

EDF/Mission:data comments available here.




Michael Murray quoted in today's GTM on "California DR 2.0"

Energy data access is an important part of California's new demand response programs, according today's Greentech Media article "California’s Demand Response 2.0 Creates New Competitive Markets."

"It’s huge, because Nest or anyone that has a cool thermostat, or some kind of curtailment mechanism, should be able to bid that directly into the market as a resource," Michael Murray said. "The utilities in California want all the demand response to go through them. So it's kind of a multi-front battle, wresting some control out of their hands." It's likely that Mission:data members, including energy management and distributed energy players like SolarCity, PlotWatt, Alarm.com, Bidgely, EcoFactor, Lucid and iControl, will see opportunities in that battle.

What wasn't mentioned are Mission:data's recent wins. Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric have committed to provide revenue-quality meter data via Green Button Connect. That means that Green Button data, acquired seamlessly, has sufficient accuracy to settle DR transactions with California ISO. That means entrepreneurs don't need to write their software to the clumsy and outdated Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standard.

PG&E said it would provide revenue-quality data in its amended advice letter in August 2014. SDG&E confirmed it would provide revenue-quality data at the February 6, 2015 "Birth of the Green Button" event (SDG&E slide deck).




'Birth of the Green Button': Utility presentations posted online


'Birth of the Green Button': Utility presentations posted online

The February 6th, 2015 "Birth of the Green Button" event at SDG&E's Energy Innovation Center featured presentations from utilities and entrepreneurs. It was a big success all around, featuring former White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Nick Sinai, a video from current Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith (who couldn't be in attendance), Barry Haaser of the newly-formed Green Button Alliance, and utilities SDG&E, PG&E, Southern California Edison, and London Hydro. 

DOE has a nice summary here:


For the presentations and technical information on the roll-out of Green Button Connect in California, you can view the presentations here:




PG&E shows how HAN pairing should be done

Though released nearly a year ago, it is worth reviewing how PG&E lets you pair Home Area Network (HAN) devices with your smart meter. The process is simple and straightforward: Login to PG&E, enter your HAN's serial number, and voila!

See PG&E's Powerpoint on HAN pairing (2.4MB PPT)

Other utilities across the country are considering enabling HAN. If they do, they should skip the paper forms and bureaucratic morass that typically accompanies utility business processes, and go straight to a system like PG&E's: instant, on-demand, customer-friendly.



PG&E Now Pre-Registering for Green Button Connect

PG&E's "Share My Data" team emailed third parties this morning. PG&E is requesting email responses to gauge interest in a pre-registration system for Green Button Connect. Please email PG&E at ShareMyData@pge.com!


Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is excited to announce the Share My Data platform (formerly known as Customer Data Access), the next generation of Green Button Connect. Share My Data will provide a new, more seamless way for PG&E customers to authorize sharing their energy usage data with you.


PG&E is considering pre-registering Third Parties on a first come first serve basis in preparation for the launch. Along with PG&E’s development timelines and testing of the platform, your responses to the questions below will help PG&E determine whether early registration is a possibility. By registering early, Third Parties will have the opportunity to utilize the Share My Data platform and ensure that they are set up prior to the Full Launch beginning First Quarter 2015. 


Please note that customer authorizations and sharing of data will not begin earlier than PG&E’s planned full deployment beginning First Quarter 2015.  


Registration will be a 3-step process:


Step 1- Registration Request. Go online (link to be provided), complete and submit the online registration form


Step 2- Eligibility Review. PG&E will process the registration request. You will need to meet the following eligibility requirements to register: 



Once your eligibility has been verified, A PG&E team member will request your SSL certificate. Upon successfully storing that certificate, your registration will be approved.


Step 3- Connectivity Testing.    Upon registration approval, you will be able to access PG&E’s SSL certificate, your registration access token and client credentials by logging into the Share My Data Third Party Portal. You will also receive an email with a link to connectivity test directions. Upon successful completion of Connectivity Testing, your organization will officially be approved as an organization with whom customers can share their data using the Share My Data platform.  Note that customer authorizations and the exchange of customer data will not start until Q1 2015. 


To register early, all three processes need to be completed in 10 business days.


Next Steps:


If you would like to be among the first to register for Share My Data, please complete the questions below by replying to this email.


1.    What is the name of your company?

2.    Please describe your company’s business purpose, target market segment (residential/commercial/industrial/agricultural), and use for the Share My Data platform.

3.    What browser is most commonly utilized at your organization (i.e. Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.)?

4.    Is your company interested in being one of the first Third Parties to register for Share My Data? Will your company have the technical capability by early December 2014 to complete all required steps of registration, including connectivity testing, within 10 business days? If not, what is the timeframe, if any, that your organization will have the technical capability to complete all required steps of registration?

5.    What, if any marketing plans does your company have targeted for customers?


PG&E has not yet confirmed whether an early registration launch will be possible for any or all Third Parties and is simply gauging interest and technical capability. Based on the order in which PG&E receives your email response, the Share My Data team will determine your position in the pre-registration line and may contact you with information on next steps.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.


Kind Regards,


Amanda O’Brien

PG&E Share My Data Team

Training and Change Management Lead