What Does Your Smart Meter Know About You?

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel 

An ordinary smart meter gives your local utility useful information about how much energy you are using--every hour, or even as often as every minute. This helps utility planners efficiently adjust electricity generation to meet demand or encourage reductions in demand when necessary. But machine learning systems, looking at that data, can tell something else about your home besides its energy use--they can tell if you are home, or if you are not. That's what University of California at Berkeley researchers Ming Jin, Ruoxi Jia, and Costas Spanos found out. That information, Jin says, is also useful for utilities--they can call or show up to perform necessary maintenance when you are home, and not waste personnel time trying to reach you.