I just read your article Google PowerMeter is watching you in EE Times. Good one.
I was involved with Bonneville Power and Dept of Energy here in the Northwest of the U.S. for four years. I did the hardware design, implementation, and installations to monitor all of the circuit breakers on 1100 homes and businesses in WA, OR, and ID. We kept the data confidential but as you point out, I could tell your habits down to the minute (our resolution of data). Clothes smell dingy? YOU didn't put them in the dryer until 2 days later; that sort of thing and others.
I monitored my own house also with spare equipment and lowered my electric bill by around 25 percent without losing any benefits. So it's a good move for all, especially if the owners ID and address are left out of the data set. And it's the path to fruition with smart appliances.
Related links and articles:
Email: Google PowerMeter not altruistic, just ahead of the game
Google, Microchip develop energy monitor software