Welcome to the Big Energy Data Center
Thanks to the efforts of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), researchers now have access to a trove of anonymous energy-usage data representing millions of electric customers in Illinois. This data empowers groundbreaking research to help save customers money, unlock energy-saving innovation, and answer policy questions vital to our pocketbooks and the planet. (Read EDF’s fact sheet on the power of big data.)
The Big Energy Data Center features new research to benefit consumers.
Big Energy Data-UPDATE: In our last review of 2016 smart meter data, we found that 97% of electricity customers in our sample would have saved money with an hourly pricing program. In this new research we find that low-income households in Northern Illinois used significantly less electricity on average in 2016. This shows how higher fixed charges on power bills not only discourage efficiency but also hit poor communities hardest.
Illinois’ Big Data Story
A series of major policy changes in recent years has positioned Illinois to become a hub for ground-breaking energy research. Here’s the story:
- October, 2011: The Illinois General Assembly passes the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, which opens the door for Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and Ameren Illinois to install digital advanced meters (smart meters) in about 4 million homes throughout Illinois. These meters have the ability to accurately record more energy-usage data than ever before.
- January, 2012: The Green Button Initiative is launched. A cooperative effort among utilities (including ComEd and Ameren) and technology companies, the Green Button Initiative allows customers to view their energy-usage data and voluntarily share it with third-party services to take advantage of services that can help people become more energy efficient.
- December, 2016: The Illinois General Assembly passes the Future Energy Jobs Act, which will boost energy efficiency programs to record levels and save consumers billions of dollars on their electric bills. The act underlines the importance of Illinois developing policy that will protect privacy and support a free flow of energy data that can spark energy efficiency innovations.
- February, 2017: The ICC approves an energy data-sharing program for ComEd. The program, developed by EDF and CUB, allows companies and researchers access to anonymous energy-use data from ComEd smart meters.
- July, 2017: The ICC (ICC) finalizes the “Open Data Access Framework,” developed by EDF and CUB to cut pollution and help customers save energy and money. The framework is made up of guidelines for securely authorizing and sharing energy-use data.
- November, 2017: BigEnergyData.info is launched.
Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and our Energy Exchange blog.
The Citizens Utility Board is Illinois’ leading nonprofit utility watchdog. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB has saved consumers more than $20 billion since 1984 by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline, 1-800-669-5556, or visit its award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.