By Andy Frank
A good friend of mine recently told me that he finally made and made solar panels in his house. He was happy to have the house with clean electricity, but he was more excited because he did not have to go through the process of redistributing the power information.
First, the solar company had to take a photo of its energy bill to send a screenshot of its monthly electricity use, so the company could decide how many panels it would need. A little annoying but still good. He emailed the pictures, and then went on a week-long business trip. But when he left, the solar company replied that it could not get past electrical information from the service provider and needed to gather more information and send it to itself.
My friend is marked, and rightly so. It should have been a simple process, a two-week ordeal that he could not easily solve in his absence. He could not believe that it was easier to share confidential financial information than to tell this solar company how much electricity it used last year.
Hold your yawn for a second and consider why this is important. We know we need to shift from waste energy to clean energy to fight climate change. Most of this battle will be won on the front of the field One-fifth U.S. carbon emissions. Installing modern heating and cooling systems and moving to renewable resources, such as solar power, are critical components that reduce or eliminate emissions.
But in order to increase those pure-energy solutions, we need to have easy access to information on energy use so that people can participate in businesses that lead the green revolution. How do we know how much waste energy will be replaced?
Gathering electricity and gas energy data is often the biggest pain point for any clean energy company. Clients often fail to provide that information, which means they have to provide utility credentials that they do not have or know of. (Ask yourself How many people do you know who transfer their account information from flashlight to memory?)
All of this may raise a question: Why can’t my friend’s solar company access the usage information on its own? The answer lies in the fact that energy-saving and carbon-saving companies are treated differently than companies that sell you energy.
They have businesses that sell Americans gas and electricity Effective monopoly More than customer data. In most states, energy retailers have access to electronic power information. Those same ports are not available for your local solar or energy saving company. Third parties – just like any company that wants to make your home more energy efficient – cannot get those permits in most states. Software companies try to fill in the gaps, using web-based tools to collect consumption data. But those devices break the moment when the local gas company decides to change their website or mobile app.
Utilities and their controllers often come up with bad reasons to explain why power sharing is a difficult process. They say making access to customer energy information makes the company responsible for cyber security. (The only thing you can do on a person’s data is never to see how much energy they consume and maybe even pay for their bills.) They say it is very difficult and expensive to create software systems to provide. Data for third parties. (Unless other major industries do this)
Their rationale, of course, is just an empty excuse. There is no reason why it should be easier to share my credit score than to share my own energy information.
And there is no reason, because there are many possible solutions. In many states, they already exist Power Information Introductions They are used by energy suppliers who do not have access to clean energy companies – those states can only do the obvious and provide the same equipment to companies that want to save more energy for companies that want to save energy. (Texas, in fact, is doing this better. Smart Meter Texas.) We can encourage by providing resources Performance Bonuses To make it easier for their customers to share their data and to pay compensation for any liability after sharing power information with third parties. We can urge policymakers to pass a consumer energy law that guarantees that consumers can easily share their energy history. Format.
We have to do a lot of hard work to achieve our clean energy and climate goals but sharing energy information should not be one of them. We need to fix our energy data problem, and now we need to fix it. It should be as simple as providing basic information about myself and sharing it with the click of a button. For example, how much electricity did I use last year? And everyone in the energy industry should be ashamed of how easy it is to share my financial history with how much energy I used last month.
Andy Frank is the founder and president of the brand. An industry leader in updating home heating and cooling solutions to keep homes healthy, comfortable and environmentally friendly. He also serves on the Board of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York and the Energy Efficiency Alliance.
Photo by Doris Morgan on Unsplash
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