Texas law makes your meter data your private property. Anyone with access to the data has obligations to protect your privacy. When you use TrueCost to shop based on your actual usage, you give consent for one part of CenterPoint Energy to share your usage data with another part of CenterPoint Energy. (Confused? Read this
But there may also be situations where you want to share your usage data with someone. A key example of this is when you're selling a home. Smart home shoppers compare not only the mortgage payment and the taxes, but also the energy costs for that home. The last time my family bought a house, several sellers had a year's worth of electric and gas bills in a folder for potential buyers to look at. Other times, I asked about a home's energy history and the realtor had to get copies from the owner and email them to me.
Even then, how easy is it to compare electric costs? What if the previous owner never shopped for electricity and was on a really high rate? Maybe it was a good rate two years ago when they locked it in, but today's prices might be much lower. Wouldn't you want to know what a "good deal" for that home's usage would be today, rather than how much the previous owner was paying?
TrueCost is in the customer information business, so we created a feature called "Share My Data." If you've registered and allowed data access by putting in your meter number
, we have your information stored securely in our system for your viewing and shopping pleasure. But if you'd like to share it with others, you can go to My Account and click on "Share my usage data".
With one click, we create a personalized page for your property and give you a link.
Now you can share it with anyone you'd like, such as:
- Someone considering buying/renting that home
- Your Realtor, who can add it to your home's listing
- Friends in colder parts of the country who can feel sorry for you when it's summer in Houston
They can view your usage in a page like this (here's mine
And to make it even more useful, we didn't just show how many kilowatt-hours you're using. We used TrueCost's data-based shopping engine to grab one of our low 12-month electric rates and estimate monthly bills for that amount of usage, so house shoppers can know the true cost of electricity based on the current market.
We're not just changing the way you shop for electricity, we're changing the way you shop for homes!