The Smart Grid Data Learning Curve

By The Energy Collective

Last week I wrote about the challenges of Smart Grid data impacting utilities and potential outsourcing trends.  While utilities do have a learning curve to climb about data management and analytics, end users (residential, commercial, and industrial customers) also need to learn the ramifications of the creation and use of entirely new data about them.  This new data will be valuable to consumers, energy service providers, and a myriad of third parties.  Utilities need to determine the most cost and time-effective ways to handle the “big data” at the consumer edge of the Smart Grid.  Consumers need to pay attention to how that data is managed and used, and the monetization of its value as recently highlighted in the Apple iPhone tracking disclosure.

How many smart phone users understood that by downloading certain mobile applications with Location Services they were implicitly agreeing to share information with those app developers?  The real price paid for a free or inexpensive mobile application was the app developer’s collection of their physical location data, and the sale of that data to any companies of the app developer’s choosing.  There is no free lunch. 

Location data is relatively new, and there are few policies in place about its management.  In fact, Verizon Wireless just added a warning sticker –basically a “user beware” message to its phones.  

Energy consumption data is also new, and should have a similar “handle with care” sticker on it.  Data from smart meters is very new, and while consensus seems to have coalesced around consumer ownership of their own energy consumption data, the policies and practices are still being defined.  Here is a great example of a utility’s data privacy policy regarding how they work with consumer and energy usage data.   However, one of the complexities about energy consumption data is...

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By The Energy Collective| May 03, 2011
Categories:  Live

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