The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) today launched the privacy checklist, a tool to help consumers when selecting energy-saving services for smart meters. Earlier this year, ACM concluded that the introduction of the smart meter was going well. However, it turned out that consumers had difficulties making the right assessments in their selection of energy-saving services when it comes to the protection of their personal information. Energy-saving services give consumers more insight into their energy consumption.
The privacy checklist, which ACM launched today through its consumer information portal ConsuWijzer, enables consumers to check what companies that offer energy-saving services do with the collected energy data. Anita Vegter, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: “With this checklist, consumers are able to make more conscious choices from the various suppliers and their products. We also hope it will stimulate companies to inform their customers better about this topic.”
Introduction of smart meter
Earlier this year, ACM concluded that the introduction of the smart meter was going well. The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs recently decided to step up the roll-out. ACM also found that consumers needed help with taking into account their privacy considerations when purchasing energy-saving services for smart meters. Companies are not allowed to collect and interpret someone’s personal data without that consumer’s explicit permission. ACM promised to address this issue, and has therefore launched the checklist on consuwijzer.nl. ACM developed the checklist in cooperation with the Dutch Data Protection Authority (CBP).
Smart meters are digital energy meters that register energy consumption on a per-minute basis, and collect data that can be read by consumers at home, or remotely by companies. These data provide consumers more insight into their energy consumption.