Smart meter installations and pledges to support Green Button have been a big step in the right direction. Yet, at present, many utility consumers cannot access their data from newly installed meters.
Ultimately, a meter is only "smart" if its data is available to its user.
Information about smart meter "deployment" is usually narrowly focused on whether advanced ("smart") metering infrastructure (AMI) has been installed. Very little is known, at scale, about whether smart meter data is available to consumers.
Interval data is invaluable for efforts to improve energy efficiency -- such information enables otherwise-impossible identification of operational and system inefficiencies -- and, so, this issue is critical to the future of building energy performance.
DOE should collect, on a regular basis, information about the availability of AMI data. The metric should be straightforward and simple:
Can a consumer obtain an automated feed of electricity usage data (i.e. not manual downloads) -- at least in hourly intervals, and at least once a day? If yes, the test is met.
The information should be sortable by common metrics, including: breakdown of residential, commercial, and industrial (both number of customers and annual MWh consumption); state-by-state; type of utility.