Under the program, called “Smarter Energy Cloud,” 1,000 citizens of Dubuque who signed up for the data study, and had smart meters installed, will be able to see their energy use through a website over a six month period and share tips for reducing electricity consumption.
The test program, which began in July, also shares energy information with city officials to help map a community-wide strategy for the smart grid. IBM says the data, which is a monitor of consumption every 15 minutes, will be sent securely and anonymously to the research center, and that individuals will only be able to access their own usage rates.
The issue of data privacy surrounding smart meters seems to be an important topic, as consumers may fear that their electricity usage – and therefore their at-home habits and trends – may fall into the wrong hands. In response, California recently adopted a set of regulations to handle ratepayer’s information.