Generally speaking, the CPUC’s proposed ruling requires California’s big three utilities—Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric—to impose tariffs on third parties that want to access utility customer energy data. It would also require the utilities to add conditions to those tariffs that impose CPUC’s privacy guidelines on the third parties that sign up for them.
According to the published proposal: “The adopted privacy and security rules apply to PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E, the companies that assist them in utility operations, companies under contract with the utilities, and other companies that, after authorization by a customer, gain access to the customer’s usage data from the utility either via the internet or though a connection with the Smart Meter that forwards that data without further customer action (such as through a device “locked” to a service provider). Each utility must file an advice letter within 90 days to bring its policies, practices and applicable tariffs into conformity with the privacy and security rules adopted here.”
The ruling also adopts policies to govern access to customer usage data by customers and by authorized third parties. “In addition to the adopted rules protecting the privacy and security of usage data, the decision PG&E and SCE must continue to provide and SDG&E must provide access to customer usage data. Each utility must provide pricing, usage and cost data to customers in the customer-friendly manners discussed below.”
Specifically, PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E will have to offer residential customers “bill-to-date, bill forecast data, projected month-end tiered rate, a rate calculator, and notifications to customers as they cross rate tiers. They are directed to work with the California Independent System Operator to improve customer access to wholesale electricity prices. PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E each must file an advice letter within six months that provides customers with access to usage, price, and billing data. Each must also commence a pilot study within six months on how to provide real-time or near real-time pricing information to customers.”
The full ruling is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/efile/PD/134875.pdf