Smart Grid Technology

As a general matter, protecting consumer privacy is critical to the evolution and eventual maturation of smart grid products and services. More specifically, access to consumer personally identifiable information should be disclosed to comply with court orders, search warrants, subpoenas and other legal document requests and should be managed in a confidential manner and in compliance with all state and federal laws.

Next, consumers should be allowed to enter into commercial relationships with third parties to meet their energy consumption needs.

Finally, utility companies should create mechanisms by which they grant third-parties access to consumer consumption data once a consumer's permission has been authenticated. Whatever privacy rules are adopted should apply equally to all stakeholders who collect, store, transmit and/or secure consumer data.

Policy Goal: Congress should resist regulating this nascent technology frontier. Self-regulatory efforts produce the best results for consumers in a competitive marketplace. However, in those instances where existing regulations prohibit new entrants and/or restrict the creation of new innovative products and services, public policy may need to be developed to create level playing fields that create more choices for consumers.

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