Let’s TAC™ About It: 15/15

For the eighth installment of our blog series, we will cover TAC™’s ability to meet the 15/15 rule. So, are you ready to TAC™ about it?

Utilities have a core mission to provide reliable power at fair rates to their customers.

A recent article in Energy News Network discussed the use of AI algorithms on utility meter data to rate fairness, particularly for low and moderate income customers.

David Kolata, Executive Director of the Illinois Citizens Utility Board commented after the analysis that “Potentially, lower-income consumers are subsidizing higher-income consumers.” Clustering of actual load curves showed that ”Because these [low income] customers use less electricity and contribute less to the grid’s peak load than others, and because peak load drives overall system costs higher, low-income customers could be paying more than their fair share for electricity.”

Given the seriousness of the issue, why haven’t more utilities performed similar analysis? 

The article continues to explain that data privacy and data confidentiality are the major barriers to this kind of analysis. In this specific instance, the Illinois Commerce Commission enacted the “15 by 15” privacy rule to help enable these findings.

As we wrote about in the fifth installment of our Let’s TAC About It series, 15/15 is a specific example of the k-anonymity privacy-preserving analytics feature that VIA recently released. For utilities interested in replicating the Illinois analytics example, VIA’s TAC™ platform automates the process of privacy-preserving analytics and provides an audited record for regulator review.

Meter data has been used for clean energy analytics and load curve predictions for some time. We’re excited to see privacy-protected AI analysis enabling new kinds of analysis, in particular, equity for low and moderate income communities.