Today, the Obama administration announced an agreement with nine major electricity suppliers that will commit to providing more than 15 million households access to data about their own energy use with a simple click of an online "Green Button."This data has the potential to not only help businesses and consumers understand how they are using energy, but it also opens the door for third-party technology companies to develop interactive applications and "smart" appliances that empower consumers to make wiser energy decisions.
In the previous Congress, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) authored legislation called e-KNOW (Electricity Consumers Right to Know Act) that would require all electricity providers to make this data available to their customers.
"I applaud the President for his leadership in getting utility companies to agree to share energy data with their customers. From cars to cornflakes, consumers make better decisions when they have facts and data. It's time we empower electricity consumers with information as well," said Rep. Markey, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee. "But energy information shouldn't be something that only a small portion of American households have access to. All Americans should have the right to access their energy data so that they can better reduce energy waste and shrink their bills. That's why I will soon be introducing legislation that would require all electricity companies to make this information available to their customers."