Legislation would encourage access to energy use information

Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a bill Thursday that would incentivize states and utilities to adopt programs that give consumers and businesses more information about their electricity consumption.

The proposal would add energy use access to the State Energy Program, a Department of Energy initiative that gives grants to states for energy efficiency programs.

“In order for our nation to be truly energy self-reliant, we must empower consumers to make better use of the energy we already produce,” Udall said in a statement. “Consumers are a critical part of our national energy strategy. Just as Coloradans use information about gas prices and car mileage to make smart driving decisions, helping families and small businesses access information about their own electricity use will empower them to use energy more efficiently,” he said.

Markey added that the bill “empowers American consumers with knowledge about how they use energy, so they can make decisions that save money and energy at the same time.”

Udall, along with then-Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), introduced legislation in 2011 that would have required utilities to provide certain information about energy use electronically to consumers. That measure did not pass.