IBM and the city of Dubuque, Iowa, plan to spend the next six months testing an electricity portal that lets residents access information about...

IBM and the city of Dubuque, Iowa, plan to spend the next six months testing an electricity portal that lets residents access information about their energy use and share ideas for saving.

The internet-based “Smarter Energy Cloud” is available now to volunteer households across the city.

The portal is part of a Smarter Electricity Pilot Study that will collect and analyze data over the next several months and provide volunteer participants with information, insights and intelligence they can act on to try and lower their energy costs. Dubuque is the first city in Iowa where 1,000 smart electricity meters have been installed at volunteer households.

The goal of the study is to demonstrate how informed and engaged citizens can save money, conserve energy and make their community more sustainable. A collaboration of IBM, the city of Dubuque, Alliant Energy – Interstate Power and Light, and the Iowa Office of Energy Independence, the study will run through November 2011, with initial results expected to be released in December.

The test project is using IBM’s Smarter City Sustainability Model, which employs deep analytics to generate personalized insights and social computing to allow volunteers to collaborate.

“Based on the success of the Smarter Water Pilot Study completed earlier this year, we look forward to learning the insights the Smarter Electricity Study will offer our citizens and our city,” said Roy D. Buol, Dubuque’s mayor.

“One of many enhancements that automated meters provide is real-time data collection,” said Milind Naphade, program director for Smarter City Services Research. “This portal can be used by any utility deploying smart meters.

A similar study performed using smart water meters in 2010 resulted in a 6.6-percent reduction in water consumption for pilot households.

IBM and Dubuque, a city of 60,000, announced their collaboration in September 2009.

Greenbang