e-KNOW Addresses Broadband, Smart Grid Potential
How does the FCC's new broadband plan relate to a consumer's right to monitor their personal electricity use? It doesn't ... not directly. But a U.S. Congressman is introducing a bill that would allow the newly broadband-accessed to get -- well, access.
The Electricity Consumers' Right to Know Act (e-KNOW), filed Tuesday by U.S. Representative Ed Markey, would allow consumers to access smart metering information and other data, using a wired Internet connection or mobile device, to track their electricity use in real time, for free, the Boston Globe reports.
Markey is one of the chief proponents of the national broadband movement. He's a senior member (and former chairman) of the Energy and Commerce Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee, and more significantly, he added the mandate that the FCC complete its broadband plan as part of the federal broadband stimulus legislation Congress passed last year.
He sees the legislation as important in guaranteeing that Americans have access to information on energy use. And he's optimistic about the other applications that can spring from this level of connectivity -- such as being able to control air conditioning and heating, or turn off an appliance, remotely.
e-KNOW does address one important aspect of anytime-online data access: making sure consumers' information is secure and that their privacy is protected. It follows the National Broadband Plan's recommendation that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission develop national standards for consumer energy data access.
More information on the bill can be found here.