Want better information about your electricity consumption, even if your premise does not have a utility “smart meter”? Do it yourself! Here are some examples, using in-home power meters and the home’s broadband connection to collect the electricity consumption data at WattzOn, an online energy tracking and monitoring tool. The idea is straightforward; you plug your devices into a power meter, and have that power meter report the data to your account at WattzOn.
Of course, the problem is that even if you have digital intelligence inside your home, you still have dumb pricing, so have therefore not acheived the potential consumer welfare benefits of a truly transactive retail electric power market. The technology is like one hand clapping, which is why regulatory reform to allow dynamic pricing, and ultimately retail competition, is necessary for creating the potential value from digital energy technology.
But it does still raise the interesting possibility of disintermediating the vertically integrated utility, especially if you have these in-home intelligent devices and you have on-site generation.