The [ Illinois Commerce Commission] has recently finalized an [ “Open Data access framework”]

The framework positions the energy using customer as the owner of the energy data, and the utility company as the guardian of the data, which is an important shift in opening access to information for the consumer. Too many utilities have unclear, inconsistent or inadequate policies around collection, storage and access to customer data.

It has been developed to ensure consistency and transparency for access their energy use data from a utility company – whether the request is from a consumer, an authorized third party or a researcher seeking anonymous data sets.

There are clear policy directions on:

  • authorization process
    • Utilities must adopt a uniform format for authorization
  • data format
    • XML
    • other industry standard
  • types of data
    • interval data
    • demand
    • power quality
    • availability
    • voltage
    • frequency
    • current
    • power factor
    • or other information generated by a meter and collected by the utility in the course of business
    • pricing data
  • Method of delivery
    • machine to machine
    • web portal
    • Direct from the meter
    • Via mobile apps
  • Timeliness
    • within the minute if direct from the meter
    • Within the hour via the web
  • Data security
    • HTTPS
    • Other industry standards
  • Charges for data access
    • No charges for data access

This framework makes Illinois the first state to require utilities to adopt a data access standard, like Green Button, to ensure consumers have easy and timely access to their own data. Access to this information will help energy users find energy savings, and reduce the cost and hassle to do so where access to information is not regulated. Too many utility companies in too many jurisdictions treat customer’s data about their use as an afterthought at best – and it hampers energy conservations efforts, while also increasing costs to comply with benchmarking regulations and engage in better stakeholder reporting.

Congratulations to the State of Illinois for adopting this policy!