Call For More Energy DataMore consumer access to data is needed to move the needle on energy consumption in the U.S., suggests a coalition of tech organizations in a letter to President Obama. The group hopes to win the support of the administration for far-reaching plans for providing consumers with devices and programs that will help them monitor their energy use and take practical steps to reduce it. A group of 47 companies and organizations, including Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and AT&p;T, on Monday sent a letter to President Obama urging him to help provide consumers with more information about their energy use. "Studies and experience show that when people have access to direct feedback on their electricity use, they can achieve significant savings through simple behavioral changes," the companies wrote. "Investments in home energy efficiency, along with automating appliances and other devices, can lead to even greater savings." If all U.S. households were to reduce their energy use by 15 percent by 2020, "the greenhouse gas savings would be equivalent to taking 35 million cars off the road and would save consumers (US)$46 billion on their energy bills, or $360 per customer each year," they point out. Giving people the ability to monitor and manage their energy consumption could also "unleash the forces of innovation in homes and businesses," the companies added. Proposed Summit The coalition asked President Obama to take several steps toward providing better information to consumers:
- initiate and lead an effort in partnership with federal agencies, states, industry and others to determine the best ways to give consumers better access to their energy information while still protecting their privacy;
- ask the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to include the availability of actionable energy information as a criterion when considering rules, grants and other programs;
- encourage the use of technologies that will help deliver information on energy consumption to consumers -- including programs aimed at improving home and building energy performance; and
- convene a White House summit to address how to empower consumers with better information and tools for managing their energy use.
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