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Secure Personal Data Services for Efficient Home Energy Management

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Protecting personal data in innovative energy management

Smart meters deliver substantial energy and cost savings, but also raise privacy concerns. An EU initiative has created a system that tackles data protection, privacy and security issues voiced by consumers.

Energy

By 2020, it is expected that more than 70 % of European consumers will have a smart meter for electricity. Smart metering systems supply detailed information to utility providers about how much electricity is being used each time. Consumers have little control over who uses this home energy consumption data and how. To protect consumers' personal data regarding smart meters, the European Commission recommends various data protection and privacy provisions. Such private information is protected by the EU Directive on the processing of personal data. This Directive lays down rules on who can access personal data and under what circumstances. The EU-funded PDS4NRJ (Secure personal data services for efficient home energy management) project set out to enable users to maintain certain control over who accesses their data and how it is used. Project partners developed a data platform designed to ensure that energy companies access and use data in line with the privacy expectations of their customers. The developed technology contains parameters and settings that make sensitive data available to authorised users and trusted networks and unavailable to other parties. PDS4NRJ contributed to the data protection and information security features that should be built into smart metering systems as they are being rolled out and gradually replacing more than 80 % of electricity meters. The project will effectively improve consumers' control over the processing of personal data.

Keywords

Personal data, energy management, smart meters, privacy concerns, home energy

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