It’s been a while since we’ve commented on the ever-changing electricity industry. But lots of things are afoot, so and we thought it appropriate to put in our two cents.
Those of us who live in Ontario can keep their eyes peeled for the release of Ontario’s Long Term Energy Plan later today (we will be). All speculative news points toward ever increasing prices for homes and businesses. Rising prices should encourage innovation, particularly in energy efficiency, which is good for our business. But we know that one of the things that makes electricity such a difficult service to price is that everyone, rich or poor, needs it. And though wealthier people often do live in larger houses and pay more, supporting a large family’s energy consumption can become significant for many Ontarians. (The 2012 average cost of electricity per home was $1,700, a significant portion of take-home income for many families.) Rising prices are going to affect us all, but the good news is that educating ourselves on how to save electricity through energy efficiency can easily keep our bills at the same level or lower! (A 5% drop in electricity consumption is something almost everyone can do…we challenge you to prove us wrong)
To help you out, The Ministry of Energy has recently launched a new website called emPOWERme to get us all a little more up to speed…check it out here. We like the “What is a kWh?” video.
For mobile, Ontario is going to be launching some pilot programs for energy apps. We’ve been had Quinzee available to the public, for free, since August 2012 and it’s nice to see that more support is coming to broaden the scope of available apps - it’s a great way to raise awareness. Working with MaRS, London Hydro and Hydro One will be offering four apps from Energent, BuiltSpace, Zerozootprint, and Eyedro Green Solutions. These pilots will test the Green Button Program - an Ontario program to provide energy data to consumers more easily on the web and through and API. The Green Button Program is a game-changer for companies like us and greatly improve the easy of accessing data for consumers, which is one of the key steps to better home electricity management.
As I said at the beginning of my post, we’ve been a bit silent these last few months after releasing our paper on Fundamentals for Smart Grid App Developers with the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Stay tuned for more news in the future…and don’t forget to check those windows and doors for drafts - it’s getting cold folks! Happy December from Quinzee.