The Illinois Commerce Commission has given the green light to a proposal by ComEd that allows companies and researchers access to anonymous energy usage data in order to enable the development of new products and services that will add value to Illinois energy consumers.
ComEd is one of the first utilities to offer such a program, which has the potential to spur new offerings from smart home and appliance manufacturers, HVAC and lighting companies, market researchers and energy management specialists, according to Val Jensen, senior vice president, Customer Operations, ComEd.
Anonymous usage data is a compilation of energy usage statistics that do not include any customers' personal identification, ensuring the confidentiality of customer-specific usage information. The new program will open access to unidentified interval energy usage data for all zip codes where smart meters have been deployed.
“One of the great benefits of smart meter technology is the availability of data that will enable a growing sector of energy tech companies to design new products and pricing programs that will help customers save money and meet the growing interest for more choice and personalized services,” said Jensen. “This is an industry-leading offering that was developed with input from regulators, stakeholders, educators and entrepreneurs, so we’re confident it will serve the interests of the marketplace while reinforcing our commitment to protecting customer information.”
ComEd has installed 3 million smart meters in northern Illinois since deployment began in 2013 and it will complete the installation of 4 million smart meters in 2018. The Anonymous Data offering builds upon the Green Button Initiative, a joint effort among utilities and technology companies launched in 2012 that enables customers to download their energy usage data and use it to take advantage of online energy management services; customers also have the option of voluntarily sharing their specific data usage with third party providers.