(Cross-posted from the Google Public Policy Blog)

Studies show when people have more direct feedback on their electricity consumption, they make simple changes that save them energy and money. Take Tom Tassi from Kenosha, Wisconsin, for example. He cut his monthly electric bill from $300 to $85 – more than $2,500 per year – by using a home energy monitor to immediately see what was using the most power in his home and changing fixtures and bulbs. Making better energy information widely available could result in billions of dollars in savings by consumers and businesses. It can also provide a foundation for innovation as new technologies and apps are developed to help people manage energy.

With that in mind, last year Google joined more than 45 companies and other organizations in calling for consumers to have more ready access to their energy data.

We’re excited to see that momentum continue. This morning the White House announced a series of measures aimed at making energy data accessible to consumers. Part of a national effort to modernize the nation’s electricity grid, the plan calls for ensuring people can access their energy data in “consumer-friendly and computer-friendly formats” and includes measures to track progress, assistance to states to implement data access policies, and funds for supporting smart grid innovation.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Mark Udall and Scott Brown that would ensure consumers can access digital information generated from “smart” electricity meters.

We hope these recent developments will help unlock energy information and ensure that everyone can use that data to save energy and cut their power bills.

Posted by Michael Terrell, Energy Policy Counsel