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What Good Are Analytics Without the Data?
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Re: Got the data, but...
  • 10/12/2014 5:56:12 PM
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..

Beth writes


All I know is everytime I get a ComEd usage report telling me that I consistently use far more energy than my neighbors, I'm filled with irritation and dread.  ... The dread comes in the thought that one day the utility company would create different pricing levels and begin charging me a premium for high usage. 


 

I share the dread. It might be nice to have available some analytics and data about ongoing home expenses (mainly utilities). Intelligence, yeah!

But the problem is getting the data and analytics for us, our household, alone, and not for the utility companies that would deploy their own intelligence to use this ifnormation to improve their own profit. At our expense.

 

Re: Where's The Data?
  • 10/8/2014 11:05:59 AM
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@kq4ym. Great point about analyzing healthcare costs. Does anyone really know where the real costs are and how to truly manage them? I don't.

Where's The Data?
  • 10/8/2014 8:02:46 AM
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I would think home data may very well be all good and helpful to save a few dollars, but I'd really like to see transparency in the medical field data which may have the possibility to save thousands of dollars in the typical family. If cost and profit data were readily available to researchers to search for cost savings ideas to stem the growing costs of hospital and medical care, one would predict more competition between health services and drug companies, and better service at lower costs to patients.

Re: Got the data, but...
  • 10/6/2014 9:47:00 AM
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Exactly. So, at this point, I find the report of little use. I guess even the skewed comparisons might encourage some homeowners to look for ways to power down but, as I said, I just find the reports irritating. The false reports certainly don't make me appreciate the provider or its interest in energy conversation. 

Re: Got the data, but...
  • 10/6/2014 9:37:40 AM
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@Beth. I'm not familiar with the ComEd implementation, but most of those "neighbor" comparisons are only in the early stages when it comes to granularity. Most of them aren't pulling data from enough homes yet to produce meaningful results and to factor in things like the number of occupants. And, obviously, they don't have the view inside the home to provide real value, which would be to identify which appliances, outlets, etc., are drawing an unusual amount of power. That would be something you could take action on.

Plus, those results in the future still will have to be pulled into a broader energy picture. For example, to really understand your overall energy use you would have to compare the energy use of a full-time telecommuter to the level of energy that you would use if you were driving or using public transit to go into an office every day. Even then, your energy draw would have to factor in the among of energy used to support you in that downtown or suburban office.

A standalone measure of one aspect of energy use (home electric use) can tell you only so much when viewed in isolation like the ComEd statement.

 

Re: Got the data, but...
  • 10/6/2014 9:03:24 AM
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All I know is everytime I get a ComEd usage report telling me that I consistently use far more energy than my neighbors, I'm filled with irritation and dread. First off, I don't think a fair comparison is home size alone, which is the basis of the comparison. You can't compare the electricity usage of two homes of the same size but one with one dweller, say, compared to the other with six, including a telecommuter who pulls from the grid all the day long. So that's the irritating part to me. The dread comes in the thought that one day the utility company would create different pricing levels and begin charging me a premium for high usage. 

Re: Got the data, but...
  • 10/3/2014 6:41:24 PM
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@Beth. I can see why ComEd wouldn't release individual homeowner data to third parties without the consent of the customer. But there's no reason not to share the aggregated data. That wouldn't prevent ComEd from using that same data themselves to improve their service delivery and plan their draw from the grid.

Personally, I think that if the utility is getting that benefit from the use of the consumer's use of the smart meter. However, I also believe the consumer has a right to use their own household's data to optimize their own usage, perhaps by channeling it into a dashboard provider or some consultancy. I guess that comes down to shared ownership of data.

Got the data, but...
  • 10/3/2014 3:39:30 PM
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Jim, you might also ask, "What good is the data without the analytics?" Such would be the case here in the Midwest, as reported last month by the Chicago Tribune:

"If you're one of the approximately 425,000 people in Commonwealth Edison's service territory with a newly installed smart meter, a cadre of companies is lining up for the energy data relayed by that meter. Their businesses would help people cut their bills, become more energy efficient, and even sell excess power back to the utility.

"There's just one problem: Regulators are hashing out who owns that data — customers or utilities — and how the data would be released.

"Until that determination is made, ComEd is staunchly guarding that data, refusing to release any of that information to third-party companies other than its own vendors and making it difficult for consumers to get the information.

"ComEd's position seems counter to what the utility promised in promoting smart meters as part of a $2.6 billion grid-modernization project."



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