The Bulletin Board

PUC gives green light for data platform to move ahead

By: - March 3, 2022 12:41 pm
A power pole with green trees and a blue sky behind it

Without a data platform, getting basic and standard information about energy usage from utilities is a huge undertaking. (Dana Wormald | New Hampshire Bulletin)

The Public Utilities Commission issued an order on Wednesday allowing a statewide energy data platform to move forward, a decision culminating a two-year process.

Proponents say the platform will make essential energy data available to ratepayers around the state and open the door to energy projects requiring this information, and that it will be instrumental in helping ratepayers save money, reduce energy usage, and have greater say in where energy comes from. The goal is to give consumers more control over energy spending and make prices more transparent.

“The Commission supports making utility data available while implementing strong privacy and security standards to protect the data of utilities and their customers,” the March 2 order states. The commission approved both the design and framework that stakeholders put forward in a settlement agreement in March 2021.

Without a data platform, getting basic and standard information about energy usage from utilities is a huge undertaking, a barrier even for towns with adequate resources, such as Hanover, that want to procure more renewable energy. Having the data would enable third-party services, like smartphone apps, that help people manage energy use at home or allow for more accurate pricing plans.

The order instructs stakeholders to establish a cost-benefit methodology before they can seek out requests for proposals from contractors to build the platform. Those stakeholders include the New Hampshire utilities, the Office of the Consumer Advocate, Clean Energy New Hampshire, the town of Hanover, and the city of Lebanon, as well as state Rep. Kat McGhee and the Mission:data coalition, which includes over 30 technology companies.

The cost of the project won’t be determined until a request for proposal is approved.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee reported on energy and environment for New Hampshire Bulletin. She also previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.