After several months of development and testing, the next generation web service for the utility rate database is finally here! I encourage you to check out the V2 Utility Rates API at http://en.openei.org/services/doc/rest/util_rates
The new API includes support for the latest V2 Utility Rates input fields (including tiered time-of-use rates, tiered demand charges, new category for lighting, and many more improvements). Just a reminder that you can view (And contribute!) rate database entries at http://en.openei.org/wiki/Gateway:Utilities
If you are a developer still using the V1 web service, I strongly encourage you to switch to the V2 platform as the V1 web service will be made unavailable in the future. Further details will be provided in the near future. Additionally, the V1 data is currently static, meaning that any new rates or updates contributed to the utility rate database will not be reflected in V1 outputs.
Now that the V2 API has been released, it's time to start thinking about V3. Current ideas include geolocation capabilities within the API (example: providing the API with address, zip code, or latlong, and getting utilities/rates back), daily tiers (in addition to the current monthly approach), applicability fields (i.e. a particular rate's eligibility cirteria for voltage, power, and energy levels), and others. If you have any pressing needs or bright ideas for V3, we'd love to hear them! (note, some of the above items may be included in a "V2.5" update).
Feel free to reply to this post if you have any other questions or comments.
Photo by flickr user miheco.