Battering the walls protecting privacy interests are those
who seek financial, political, or psychological value in AMI
systems and data. Obviously, the sponsoring utility wants
advanced metering data to reduce costs and increase profits
by enabling remote meter reading, outage management, load
forecasting, workforce management, planning, peak load
billing, etc. In competitive markets, alternative service
providers will want AMI data to identify and target the most
Other businesses will also be interested in AMI data. System
sensors, smart appliances, sophisticated signal analysis
techniques on voltage and current wave forms, unusual power
consumption, or duty cycle characteristics could reveal
information about the presence, absence, or use of systems
as small as hair dryers, waterbeds, and individual burners
on a stove.
Such data make it possible to monitor changes in the
operating signature of individual appliances and therefore
to predict their loss of efficiency or imminent failure.
• Appliance manufacturers may therefore want AMI data to
learn about how their products are actually operated.
• Retailers of appliances, extended warranties, or repair
services may want AMI data to provide advertising or
discount offers days or hours before an appliance fails.
• Insurers may want to look for evidence of unauthorized
conduct, to determine when a loss occurred, or to deduce who
Surely, other valuable uses will emerge. Customers,
utilities, vendors, and third party data brokers will want
to position themselves to sell AMI data or analytics, just
as credit reporting agencies have done. If utilities want to
capture this revenue, and/or to prevent others from
capturing it, they will need carefully crafted contractual
provisions that clearly define who owns the AMI data and
what rights the consumer, utility, service provider, or
other third parties have to use or transfer it.
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