This just in from Smart Grid guru Christine Hertzog. California, tethered (some might say lashed) to the bow of the national Smart Grid ship by its own aggressive renewables targets, is moving first on formalizing privacy rules for its 3 big investor owned utilities. Here's how Hertzog relayed the recent CPUC ruling:
... the California IOUs must deliver pricing, usage and cost data to residential customers, including bill-to-date, bill forecast data, projected month-end tiered rate, a rate calculator, and notifications to customers as they cross rate tiers. The IOUs must also improve customer access to wholesale electricity prices.Hmm, that sounds very portal-ish. I recently asked a rep of my home state PUC about when time of use/realtime pricing might be coming to our area and he just laughed. Hertzog continues:
California takes another step closer to realtime pricing with the requirement that the IOUs must initiate studies within 6 months on how to provide this information to customers. And the IOUs must start pilots that provide consumers with direct access to the information in smart meters and support for HAN-enabled devices. These are all exciting developments to accelerate new service offerings that help consumers manage their energy consumption and demonstrate the value of the ongoing investments in smart meters and other Smart Grid technologies.I remember discussing the costs and benefits of being a first mover with my colleague and SGSB co-blogger Jack Danahy, and while I opined that a slow roll approach might be best, he weighed in that you've got to get your hands dirty up front if you're going to lead. Well, that's exactly what CPUC and its big 3 utils are doing.
I'm rooting for them, and recommend the community doesn't give them too much grief when they don't get something exactly right the first time. It's great they're doing what they're doing!
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Photo of Laguna Beach at night credit: Kenneth Lu on Flickr.com