Would you become more energy efficient at home and at work if you had easy access to “useful and actionable information” about your energy consumption. A consortium of 45 major companies and organizations, seemingly led by Google, seems to think so as this group released today a letter to President Obama to lobby him to get the federal government to adopt standards and means to “empower consumers with energy saving tools and information.” This would, of course, be done at least in part working with the private sector to “unleash innovation in homes and businesses as new energy saving technologies and apps are developed.”
This letter is signed by Google, AT&T, General Electric and Intel; non profits like The Climate Group, NRDC and the Alliance to Save Energy; and other “start ups, smart grid companies, venture firms and trade organizations.” It works on the assumption that consumers want easy access to information such as seeing their power use “in a manner that will enable them to discover the sources and causes of their consumption” as well as pricing and pricing plans. This diverse group, feeling that technologies exist today which can help achieve consumer realization of this information (i.e. the smart grid, for example), outlines the following suggestions to President Obama [taken from the PDF format of the letter]:
- Initiate a White House led effort to work in partnership with Federal agencies, States, industry and other stakeholders to determine the best strategies, programs and policies needed to meet the goal of providing consumers access to their energy information, including principles to protect consumer privacy and control of their energy data.
- Direct the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency and ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to add the availability of timely, useful and actionable energy information to consumers as a criterion for consideration in rulemakings, grants, and other programs related to end use electricity distribution and energy efficiency. This will ensure that consumer energy information is integrated into programs as diverse as home weatherization, energy efficiency grants, appliance standards, home and commercial building programs, federal energy management, research and development funding, and regulation of energy suppliers.
- Encourage the purchase and installation of technologies, devices and methods of delivery that will help ensure timely, secure, and clear information on energy consumption is available to consumers. To that end, we request that you consider access to this information as part of any program aimed at improving home and building energy performance.
- Convene a White House summit to address how to empower consumers with better information and tools for managing their energy use. We would welcome the opportunity to work with the White House to host a consumer energy technology showcase that will highlight energy information and control solutions for consumers.