Vectren Screen ShotI was please to see that my Natural Gas company, Vectren, has expanded their eBill service to include actual real DATA about consumption patterns. As one who thinks a lot about things like “what is the most efficient way to keep my house a comfortable temperature in the winter?” I love to see that they are drawing me this graph. I hope that in the future it will go back further in time. But I’m particularly pleased that they give the option of downloading the data as a spreadsheet. It’s pretty simplistic, just the dates and numbers in a chart, but… still, I love it! Thanks, Vectren! And I see that it really is using more gas for me to be working at home instead of being at work with the house turned down to 55 F.

Years ago I wrote an email to Kroger suggesting that they make the information that they make collection with their Kroger Plus Card (you know the type) available to the customer in question. I would love to see a history of my shopping. I would love to run queries such as “how much of my food budget am I spending on produce” (or, dare I question it, beer and wine?). They never replied. And they certainly aren’t offering this service. I think it’s a shame. I’m sure they are thinking “we don’t want to give consumers that kind of power, they might change their buying habits. Perhaps. But I suspect most people would never use it. And some of us would probably lean towards buying things at Kroger so that they could include it in their data analysis. So, I present it now publicly as a challenge to all you big SuperMarket companies… the programming should be trivial, simple queries of your huge database. Some of us would really love it. Thanks.

Meanwhile, thanks Vectren.