eMeter briefs US federal officials on smart grid consumer engagement

Source: eMeter

To illustrate the necessity of consumer engagement in the Smart Grid, eMeter Chief Regulatory Officer Chris King will brief members of the Executive Office of the President, the Department of Energy, and the National Science and Technology Council on the policy opportunities to provide advanced energy services – on Wednesday, April 13, 2011. Other leading technology companies and non-profits interested in the Smart Grid will also participate in the briefing. 

"Despite best efforts, consumers are still largely unaware of the benefits the Smart Grid can bring them, particularly as advanced energy services are entering the market," said King. "Fundamental changes to traditional energy infrastructure will be a key part of this administration's efforts to win the 'Innovation Race.' eMeter is pleased the federal government is examining how to effectively inform consumers and help them understand these changes." 

King will discuss best practices for addressing privacy and security concerns as well as commitment from both the public and private sector to technical industry standards that will open and drive the market. In particular, open Home Area Networks (HAN) standards will be critical to consumers realizing the full benefits of the Smart Grid. Renewed focus on consumer engagement could mean as many as 50 million U.S. homes and businesses could have advanced energy services by 2015, according to King, including: 

Online and real-time access to detailed power usage information 

Ability to choose prices that allow consumers to take advantage of off-peak discount pricing 

Selection of a wide variety of smart thermostats and smart appliances that consumers can control from their computers, laptops, and smart phones, with "set-and-forget" capability for automatic energy savings. 

A vibrant market of suppliers of products and services to help consumers understand their energy uses and increase energy efficiency. 

King is an internationally recognized authority on energy regulation and competitive energy markets. He is widely recruited by regulators and legislators to consult on technology issues in electric restructuring and grid management. In July 2010, King briefed members of the Executive Office of the President on the PowerCents DC Program, the first pilot in the electric utility industry to test an integrated Smart Grid combination of dynamic pricing, multi-faceted consumer energy information feedback, and smart appliance control. He has testified before Congress and was instrumental in crafting the Smart Grid provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that paved the way for advanced metering initiatives in the US. In addition, Kingmet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and presented global Smart Grid benefits to delegations at the UN Business for Environment Summit in Seoul last April. King also founded the Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition based in Washington D.C., and is a co-founder and chairman of the Smart Energy Demand Coalition based in Brussels.

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