California Regulates Smart Grid Technologies

In a first-in-the-nation decision, California has passed regulations covering smart grid privacy and security, including independent security checks of the integrity of data collected and a restriction of the that data to third parties.

The document with a very wordy title, "Decision Adopting Rules to Protect the Privacy and Security of the Electricity Usage Data of the Customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and Dan Diego Gas & Electric Company," documents objections by the three utilities to specific parts of the regulation. But the California Public Utilities Commission went ahead with most of the initial proposals.

From CPUC Agenda ID #10387

The adopted privacy and security rules and policies providing access to billing and usage data are reasonable. They will protect the privacy and security of customer usage data while ensuring customer access to usage information and enabling utilities and authorized third parties to use the information to provide useful energy management and conservation services. In addition, the rules and policies are consistent with privacy and security principles adopted by the Department of Homeland Security and with the policies adopted in SB 1476. Thus, these rules will bring California practices into conformity with the best national privacy and security practices.