FCC broadband plan to call for access to real-time energy info

Over the past six months we have been providing you with periodic updates and comments on the FCC's National Broadband Plan, which is scheduled for release in mid-March. Earlier today FCC energy and environment director Nick Sinai gave a sneak preview of one of the Plan's key components: how broadband will facilitate smarter energy usage.

He told an audience at the Clean-tech Investor Summit that the FCC will call on States and the Congress to give consumers and consumer-authorized third parties access to real-time energy information. This kind of information could have a huge financial and environmental impact. Studies show that access to real-time usage data results in energy savings of up to 15%. He talked about how, combined with other measures, this information could create a platform that could lead to new products and services to help consumers manage energy. Picture it: a smart phone apps store for home energy management.

Sinai singled out for praise technologies like "smart" electricity meters and recent efforts in California to include consumer data access policies as part of a statewide smart meter roll out. (Learn more by reading Google's comments.) While encouraged by state-led initiatives like this, Sinai said if state efforts don't work, the FCC could recommend that Congress consider national energy data accessibility legislation.

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