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Remaking Energy: The Critical Role of Energy Consumption Data

64 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2015 Last revised: 12 May 2017

Alexandra B. Klass

University of Minnesota Law School

Elizabeth J. Wilson

University of Minnesota - Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Date Written: September 11, 2015

Abstract

This Article explores the public policy benefits associated with increased access to energy consumption data as well as the legal and institutional barriers that currently prevent such access. As state and local governments as well as electricity users attempt to improve the efficiency of their buildings, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and realize the promises of improved demand side management of energy resources, the need for electricity and other energy-related data becomes even more pressing. But the current law that balances making energy consumption data available against any privacy or confidentiality interests in the data is underdeveloped. Thus, this Article draws on more sophisticated legal frameworks governing health care, education, and environmental emissions data that balances the public policy needs for data evaluation with countervailing interests. A review of the law in these fields shows that the privacy and confidentiality interests in energy consumption data may be overstated and, in any event, can be adequately addressed in most instances through aggregating the data, using historic rather than current data, or through contracts and other agreements to ensure security where access to individualize data is needed.

Keywords: smart grid, customer energy usage data, energy consumption data, distributed generation, micro-grids, distributed energy, distributed generation, energy efficiency, building benchmarking, privacy, TRI, GHG emissions data, green buildings, health care data, education data

Suggested Citation

Klass, Alexandra B. and Wilson, Elizabeth J., Remaking Energy: The Critical Role of Energy Consumption Data (September 11, 2015). 104 Cal. L. Rev. 1095 (2016); Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-28. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2659343

Alexandra B. Klass (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-625-0155 (Phone)

Elizabeth J. Wilson

University of Minnesota - Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs ( email )

301 19th Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hhh.umn.edu/people/ewilson/

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