Utility Provides Smart Meter Interface

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) has announced a partnership with energy management software company OPOWER, whose founder we interviewed last year, to develop a front-end, costumer engagement platform for smart meters.

According to the companies, the software called Advanced Customer Engagement (ACE) will be the first full-scale rollout of its kind once in use, which is planned after BGE begins installing smart meters. ACE is expected to reach 1.2 million residents when completed.

image via OPOWER

The platform gathers neighborhood energy usage from smart meters and provides individual reports, which will offer advice on ways for consumers to reduce energy use, and an online component where ratepayers can sign-up for alerts about bills. Reports will be available to be sent by mail, email, or phone updates.

The reports themselves are, a bit odd, honestly. The idea is centered around guilt-based utility use, showing people their usage compared to the neighborhood as whole. The example OPOWER gives is a along the lines of, “You use 72% more energy than your most efficient neighbor, and most people in your area keep their AC at 78 degrees.” This type of data reporting connected to the smart grid will be interesting to watch as consumers decide whether or not they want their energy information to be available to others.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.

    • u00a0Wow.. A new term “Guilt Based Utility Use”