Satellite image of continental United States at night showing illuminated cities.

President-elect Joe Biden has published nine key elements for a clean energy revolution. Broadly speaking, it’s a holistic approach — and much different from the “all of the above” approach favored by the Obama administration. President-elect Biden’s approach, by all accounts, is to center around the common metric of carbon emissions rather than policies by sector.

Biden’s plan calls for particular attention to transportation, which is now the highest source of carbon emissions in the United States. He supports accelerating innovation and deployment of clean energy technologies when it comes to power generation, and he aims to hold the broad category of polluters (including supply and demand) accountable for the cost of their externalities.

While it remains to be seen what details escape the planning process, one area of focus that will likely be undertaken with American citizens in mind is federal support for infrastructure legislation.

Much of these priorities will be reflected in Cabinet choices. Former Secretary of State John Kerry has already been tapped as a new “Climate Czar,” and Biden has also named a number of prominent climate and clean energy officials to serve on his new “climate team,” including former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy. All of these point to encouraging signs that climate, transportation, equity and social justice issues will no longer be as siloed as they were in years past.

The Biden administration has ambitious goals, and there are three areas in particular that deserve more attention than they’re currently getting. To be clear, meeting these needs will help our nation fully participate in the clean energy revolution — and will be just as important as the subsidies and tax credits that have helped fuel the surge in renewable energy capacity.

  1. Real-time energy usage data that can provide energy-saving insights, personalized energy tips, anomaly detection and personal goal setting.

  2. Targeted customer messaging capabilities so utilities can manage demand both when and where it matters most. This is especially urgent as the grid gets more dynamic with increased renewable energy and distributed energy resources.

  3. Public health-conscious smart meters that can be used across electric, natural gas and water utilities. Based on moderate-scale pilot projects, these have been shown to significantly support optimization of physical energy infrastructure, enable conservation for consumers and preparedness for eventual electrification of home appliances and transportation.

For everyone at Copper, our boots-on-the-ground approach means that we engage our consumers when it matters most for energy management and savings. This consumer-centric approach is enabled by scalable firmware-enabled software as a service and access to real-time energy data from electric, natural gas and water meters that will support the transition to cleaner energy over the next decade.