Texas: Consumer smart meter data open for sharing with third parties


Consumers in Texas have received a greenlight from the Public Utility Commission to share smart meter data with third parties who would help them identify measures to reduce their energy usage and costs.

The energy regulator has approved changes to be made on the State’s Smart Meter Texas portal to enable consumers to give energy management solution providers with access to their smart meter data.

The Smart Meter Texas portal was deployed in 2008 when the state deployed smart meters. The portal enables consumers to download and access their smart meter data.

The development enables consumers to select energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation, and other energy software products, as well as services of their own in managing their energy use.

Suzanne Bertin, executive director of Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA), a business association of advanced energy companies in Texas, said: “Energy data by itself is not helpful to most customers, but when energy experts can interpret that data and provide concrete actions customers can take to change their electricity use — that results in real dollars saved by customers.

“Those energy savings instead can be spent on other products and services in the Texas economy. All of us who were involved appreciate PUCT’s approval of this settlement, which will make this data easier for customers to obtain and put to work and save them money.”

“We’ve seen that customers are discouraged from enrolling in programmes with unnecessarily time-intensive, complex, and complicated steps,” said Laura Kier, senior associate, market operations, at EnergyHub, a residential demand response and grid services provider.

“This more streamlined process for Smart Meter Texas is crucial to creating a positive customer experience, and one that encourages customers take advantage of new energy services.”

”The settlement agreement is part of a nationwide trend toward increasing usability of utility-controlled websites,” said Michael Murray, president of Mission:data Coalition, a non-profit.

“For several years the law in Texas has provided customers with rights to access their energy data, but exercising those rights in practice has been difficult. This agreement remedies that, and we applaud the PUCT for approving the settlement.”