Business-NGO Group Calls on Obama for Greater Consumer Access to Energy Data

A group of nearly 50 companies and organizations, including the Center, sent President Obama a letter this month asking the Administration to lead the way to providing all consumers access to their energy information.  The April 5 letter calls for giving consumers access to this information via devices such as computers and phones; making it easier for them to monitor and manage their energy use.

With timely and actionable information on energy consumption, households and businesses can avoid inefficiencies that drive up consumer costs and greenhouse gas emissions.  Through its Make an Impact program, we also works to weave sustainability and energy efficiency into the fabric of its partners’ corporate culture. The program provides accessible information to employees and their communities on ways to reduce energy use, lower their carbon footprint, and save money. These savings can be significant: If every U.S. household saved 15% on its energy use by 2020, GHG savings would be equivalent to taking 35 million cars off the road and would   save consumers $46 billion on their energy bills each year. 

In its letter to Obama, the business-NGO group – which includes Google, AT&T, General Electric, Intel, Reliant Energy, and smart grid startups – says it would like to see the federal government lead and coordinate efforts already underway in the private sector and State and local governments.  While technologies exist today to meet the goal of information access, innovation continues in utility program design and mechanisms for delivering direct feedback to consumers. 

A forum sponsored by Google and The Climate Group highlighted some of the critical issues moving forward, such as protecting consumer privacy and encouraging a diverse group of technologies.  Carol Browner, the Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, used her keynote address to express the Administration’s commitment to providing energy data to consumers.  Browner also highlighted the need for comprehensive energy and climate legislation to promote a stronger commitment to energy efficiency and other complementary strategies that will reduce costs as the U.S. looks to take a leadership role in the emerging global clean energy economy

Olivia Nix is the Innovative Solutions intern