- The Illinois Commerce Commission this week finalized an “Open Data Access Framework” developed by advocates who say it can help save customers money, conserve energy and allow broader integration of resources across the grid.
- The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) worked together for three years to develop the framework, which they say will be key to maximizing consumer benefits from advanced meters. By some estimates there are more than 50 million smart meters installed across the country today.
- The ICC's decision means the framework will need to be considered by Ameren and Commonwealth Edison as they design new data services based around advanced metering infrastructure.
The United States now has unprecedented amounts of energy-use data, but there are few standards in place for protecting it, as utilities press to access energy usage information to gather granular data. This is pressing concern for utilities shifting to a new business model or regulators undergoing grid modernization proceedings.
According to a fact sheet on the new protocol, the framework protects privacy by ensuring data is handled in a uniform, secure manner, while also allowing the creation of secure tools to reduce electricity demand.
The ICC's order means the framework must be considered by the utilities as they design new AMI-based data services, "and by all stakeholders in discussions throughout the course of AMI deployment around how AMI data can be used to enable the market for the development of products and services for the customers of Ameren and ComEd."
CUB Executive Director David Kolata said energy-usage data is a key to maximizing consumer benefits from smart meters. "With these guidelines, Illinois is a national leader in jumpstarting clean energy businesses and sparking innovative tools that help electric customers save money," he said.
Nationally there are several initiatives to making energy data sharing easier. Earlier this year, the ICC approved Commonwealth Edison's data sharing program, that built upon the Green Button Connect initiative. The initiative was developed by the U.S. Departments of Energy and Commerce to grant customers secure and simple access to their energy-usage information.