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Google, GE, NRDC and The Climate Group call for real-time information technologies to cut emissions

Date
15 December 2009

"Citizens need better access to information about how they use energy - and they need the tools to use less." 

Today, Google, GE, The Climate Group, and NRDC, supported by a broad group of companies and organizations, called on governments across the world to support citizens' access to real-time information on home energy consumption. (Read the statement)

In homes, technology that makes energy consumption visible in the home can help people save not only carbon but electricity costs.   Our recent case studies at www.smart2020.org show that some homeowners were able to save 40 per cent on their electricity bills from better understanding their patterns of energy consumption. 

The statement says "The bottom line is: We can't solve climate change if people are in the dark about how they use energy in their own homes. Citizens need better access to information about how they use energy - and they need the tools to use less." 

By empowering citizens with information and tools for managing energy, national and sub-national governments, businesses and organizations around the world can harness the power of hundreds of millions to fight climate change and save consumers millions of dollars in the process.

Specifically, all countries should ensure that their citizens have access to basic information including:

  • Near real-time or real-time home energy consumption
  • Pricing and pricing plans
  • Carbon intensity, including source and carbon content of electricity

Today's call for supporting citizens' access to information can be achieved with technologies that exist today which can be rapidly deployed. To get there, countries can provide incentives for energy monitoring equipment and set rules for consumer access to information. They can also enact stronger energy efficiency standards, as well as provide financial incentives and variable energy pricing plans.

Dan Reicher, Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives, Google, said:  "By providing people with real-time home energy information we can make a major down payment on tackling climate change while saving money and creating exciting new industries and jobs."

Steve Fludder, VP of GE's ecomagination, said: "This is not future technology that were talking about. We can do this now."

Molly Webb, Director of Strategic Engagement, The Climate Group said: "Just as user-generated content drove Web 2.0, then user-generated energy information and 'the internet of things is our future. With a strong global agreement to tackle climate change, ICT infrastructure will be a key enabler in the short term of carbon efficiency on a global scale."

The statement comes after yesterday's launch of SMART 2020: Pathways to Scale which called for energy information for all. This information can be used across the wider economy by citizens and businesses to enable a range of innovations in services around energy and fuel efficiency. The Climate Group is tracking these initiatives with measurable results on www.smart2020.org.

Read the statement here.

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