Energy Data Transparency Bill Passes Senate

May 31, 2017

Today, Senate Bill 356, The Energy Data Act, authored by State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), passed the Senate floor.

SB 356 is a commanding step forward to bringing California’s energy sector into today’s information economy. SB 356 directs the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to release energy data on a single website, in an easily accessible format.

“Broader access to information and data has spurred countless innovations economy wide,” said Senator Skinner. “SB 356 is an effort to do the same for energy; making data more available will spur innovation and propel us into our clean energy future.”

Companies like Ohm Connect, which utilizes an app that pays people to reduce their energy use during peak hours, and Smart Wires’ software, which uses grid data to optimize electricity transmission delivery, are two examples of how energy data can be utilized to enhance the lives of everyday people. With SB 356 in place, researchers, technology developers, and entrepreneurs can develop new strategies and technologies to help California meet its ambitious clean energy goals.

“Increased data sharing between industry stakeholders is the most important step in modernizing our aging grid,” said Andrea Deveau, Vice President of State Policy and Politics at TechNet. “Without data transparency, new and innovative energy solutions are blocked out of the grid, precluding them from providing increased reliability, safety, affordability, and consumer choice.  This bill provides the path to the data access and transparency needed to drive innovation in the electric grid.” 

SB 365 also assists local governments and building owners interested in improving the energy efficiency of their facilities by giving them better access to energy-use data of their buildings.

“Giving local governments, building owners, and companies full access to the energy-use data of their facilities empowers them to make decisions that maximize energy efficiency and better serve the public,” said Skinner.

Senate Bill 356 now moves to the Assembly for consideration.