Smart meter data may be worth more than the electricity it measures

Jan. 2, 2015

The data your smart meter collects about you could become more valuable than the electric power it measures coming into your home. To provide guidelines for protecting that data, the Department of Energy has released a draft voluntary code of conduct (VCC) whose aim it to encourage innovation while protecting customer privacy and providing customers with appropriate access to their data. You can download the draft here.

David Pereira in Politico reports that the DoE will publish its final draft later this month. Nevertheless, he writes, critics fear that power companies and third parties will cajole customers into giving up their data.

Perera quotes Miles Keogh, director of grants and research at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, as saying, “I think the data is going to be worth a lot more than the commodity that’s being consumed to generate the data.”

Customers may be willing to voluntarily give up their data for a price break. Perera quotes Nancy King, an Oregon State University business law and ethics academic, as saying consumers have always been willing to trade privacy for “very little monetary reward.”

Perera cites Navigant Research predictions that the The market for big data energy analytics will reach $1 billion annually in the U.S. and Canada by 2019.

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