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US Administration's call for consumer access to energy data welcomed

13 June 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Today, Obama administration officials announced a series of measures to make energy information readily accessible to consumers and promote innovation in the energy sector, as part of a broader effort to modernize the US electricity grid.

Google and The Climate Group along with a coalition of businesses and NGOs, sent a letter to President Obama last year asking the Administration to adopt the goal of giving households and businesses access to timely, useful and actionable information on their energy use.

Today’s decision reflects those goals and, sends a clear message that putting consumers first will save energy and drive competitiveness

The White House announcement, which called for consumers to have access to their energy information in “consumer-friendly and computer-friendly” formats, includes measures to track progress, assistance to states to implement data access policies, and proposed Department of Energy funding for supporting smart grid innovation.

Amy Davidsen, US Director, The Climate Group, says: “The announcement is a milestone in the drive to provide consumers with access to their energy information. We know that this important first step has the potential not only to save consumers billions of dollars on their electricity bills, but also to drive major emissions reductions through greater efficiency.  We applaud the Administration for taking it."

Molly Webb, Head of Smart Technologies, The Climate Group, added: “A 15% reduction in electricity consumption by 2020 can save consumers $46 billion on energy bills or $360 per customer per year and it is equivalent to 35 million cars off the road. At the same time, energy information can be used by companies to unlock innovation and improve competitiveness. Backed up by effective data privacy and investment guidance, today’s announcement shows the US is a global leader on smart grid.”

Michael Terrell, Energy Policy Counsel, Google, a partner in the effort, said: “Making energy information more readily available could save consumers billions of dollars and unlock a new wave of innovation in the energy sector.  This latest action by the Administration reaffirms that modernizing the electricity grid begins with unlocking information and empowering consumers.”

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Read the announcement on Google's Public Policy Blog

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