Last week I had dinner with a few colleagues and Austin Energy's CIO Andres Carvallo who was a keynote speaker for the Park's Associates Connections 2009 conference. Carvallo is an energetic, entertaining guy with a diverse background and is clearly a smart guy (follow him on Twitter, ciomaster). I decided to test my hypothesis that utilities would not give Google their energy usage data for PowerMeter. Austin Energy is one of the leaders in the US in implementing Smart Energy (Grid, Meters, Demand Response, etc.)and so I was very interested to hear Carvallo's perspective. Sure enough and even with a bit of disgust, he said there is no way he is giving his energy data to Google. "Why would I?" he asked. Carvallo strikes me as a smart business guy so his question makes a lot of sense. Why would any business give away their consumer data? Would Visa give away aggregated purchase data? Or for that matter, does Google give away search data? Nope and neither will the smart energy companies.
Energy companies must get ahead of this however, simply stonewalling is not sustainable. A new business model that creates consumer value and replaces lost energy profits is required.