Smart Grid

The Smart Grid is a transmission system that uses two-way communication to manage energy use and provide better information to consumers. Senate Bill 1476 imposes requirements on investor-owned utilities (IOUs) using Smart Meters to allow customer access to their energy usage data without forcing customers to agree to sharing their personally identifiable information.

In December 2008, the CPUC opened a Smart Grid rulemaking to consider setting policies, standards and protocols to guide the development of a Smart Grid system and facilitate integration of new technologies such as distributed generation, storage, demand-side technologies and electric vehicles. 

 

Deployment

In June 2010, the CPUC required California’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to submit Smart Grid Deployment plans by 2011.  

Energy Usage Data Access 

In 2013, the CPUC created rules and processes for customers to grant third parties permission to access their smart meter data. The CPUC is also in the midst of determining rules for third party access to a customer’s energy data without customer permission. Data access was established by the CPUC Privacy Rules, which adopted the Fair Information Practice Principles.  

Metrics

In 2010, the CPUC began the process of establishing goals and metrics to guide all stakeholders in a common policy direction and measure the performance of deployed Smart Grid technologies.   

Privacy Rules

Energy usage data collected by smart meters has increased granularity that carries inherent privacy concerns. On July 28, 2011, the CPUC adopted a final decision on rules to protect the privacy and security of customers’ electricity usage data.   

Smart Meters

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), also known as "smart meters," is a fixed information technology (IT) system which is intended to automate utility billing, optimize utility resources, and provide energy consumers with greater information on their electricity use. DRA supports a smart meter opt-out program that balances program cost with keeping the program affordable for customers and avoiding rate shock. 

DRA Report: Case Study of Smart Meter System Deployment

DRA's case study of Southern California Edison's smart meter program examines cost recovery requests and presents key findings and recommendations for ensuring ratepayer benefits. DRA conducted an extensive analysis with the intention that lessons learned from SCE's AMI deployment might apply to other California utilities deploying smart meters.