Tokyo Metro informing today’s electricity supply from the Tokyo Electricity Power Company (TEPCO), using one of their many displays placed next to ticketing gates. The bar shows in proportion to the electricity generated, how much are consumed today.
And the image below is another information displayed alternatively to the image above. This informs that at moment, save for the peak hours, they have reduced frequency of trains by 20%. Note that the icons on the left showing today’s weather, which often has the substantial implication on the electricity consumed by companies and houses thus becoming an immediate threat of maximizing the power usage.
While the intention is noble, we have to remind ourselves that such data has been available for the general public in many countries already. Countries like UK and USA provide many alternatives to who would supply electricity at your home, and such information or even the source of supplies have been clearly stated by the provider. Gas and electricity companies, though became private, still have traces of being a public sector, and primarily a monopoly. As a result, until the Fukushima became an issue, there were not much need in informing others in any open manner.
Many application developers are trying to make use of the data. It is a first step, but before we start praising them, should remind ourselves that there are companies like EDF, and how much more could be done.