Will energy consumption stay private?
It's clear that the consumption of energy has external effects that impact more than just the person who is paying for it. Geopolitical, health and economic issues come to the neighbors and nearby citizens of entities that are using a lot of power.
It was always straightforward to see who was burning a lot of wood or drove a huge car. It's easy to see when a company has a huge smokestake belching carbon. What happens when sensors make it easy to see how efficient a machine is, how much of a resource is being consumed and how much exhaust is being spewed? What happens when Google maps shows you the block or the building that consumes the most electricity, or makes it easy to compare across industries?
When we have the opportunity to rank consumption by industry or by neighborhood, will we? We already watch our neighbors litter or have loud parties or paint (or fail to paint) their house…
A significant byproduct of the connection revolution is that things that were private because they were difficult to measure will no longer be private. When devices can talk to each other, the information rarely remains private. It's not going to stop with energy, of course. Just about all our buying decisions are going to be shared, and that changes the marketers job.
In a world of horizontal marketing, where tribes are aware of what their members are up to, I think it's going to happen quicker than most people expect.