The Smart Energy Demand Coalition (SEDC) issued a whitepaper discussing utility and consumer benefits in providing customers with access to real-time grid data.According to the whitepaper, Data Access in the Electricity Market, the availability of grid status and energy pricing data paves the way for consumer-centric and smarter energy systems.

By providing consumers with grid data, the paper highlights that utility firms empower consumers with their own consumption flexibility, which in turn, would result in increased customer services and experiences.

Grid data usage and benefits

Access to data allows customers to learn to manage their energy usage in line with market signals and grid status. Equipped with this data, both consumers and their service providers have access to knowledge regarding the how much energy has been used, how and when it is used, leading to improved energy management and grid reliability.

According to the SEDC, access to data will aid energy management initiatives through energy efficiency initiatives, implementing demand response and offering remote energy management options.

The paper highlights various factors which utilities should consider when providing their consumers with data including the protection of consumer privacy and security.

Data security

The SEDC states that utility regulations should provide consumers with rights to decide which market players should be granted access to their consumption data.

[quote] The organisation states that the data provided to consumers should allow them to switch to service providers of their choice. The data should also allow consumers to implement or adopt new technologies to improve how they manage their energy consumption.

In addition, the paper states that there should be transparency regarding energy deals within both the transmission and distribution sectors in order for consumers to have a deep understanding on market activities and how the grid is being operated. [Data analytics: UK utility selects Bit Stew for grid management]

For a smart energy system to operate optimally through the use of grid data, the SEDC calls for the establishment of a European framework which would ensure appropriate and standardised data access for service providers.

The Coalition states that the framework will be responsible for the design of rules including different market players having the same access to data.

Both distribution and transmission system operators, as well as retailers, should be obliged to transfer data for defined standard cases  free of charge, as consumers would have already paid for the data as part of their bills.

 

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