Follow the arrows as California's direct access workshops map out who will have access to electric customer data.
In its latest order implementing direct access for electric customers, the California Public Utilities Commission told Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric to conduct workshops to recommend rules on the release of customer information in a deregulated electric industry.
The PUC offered guidelines. It said it wanted data released in two ways: 1) with the customer's identity removed (zip code, rate category, SIC code and usage), and 2) in a standardized personal report by customer request or, as advocated by some, as part of an "opt-in" program conducted by the utilities themselves. (See, Decision 97-05-040, May 6, 1997, 177 PUR4th 1, 39-40.)
In compliance, the Direct Access Workshop on Retail Settlements and Information Flow submitted its final report on July 25. That report traces, among other items, "the flow of usage data from a specific customer's meter through all of its uses in various applications." Or, in more colorful terms, "from the meter to money in everyone's pocket." (See, RSIF Report, p. 28, http://184.108.40.206/wk-group/dai/dai4 /msg00023.htm.)
Here, as diagrammed in the report, is a map of just one piece of the overall information flow (em the so-called "Meter Data Management Function."
Still concerned about privacy?
Six Steps to Customer Privacy:
1. Collect Data (em Obtain raw data from meter, via various channels; reread meter as needed.
2. VEE (em Validation, Editing and Estimation of missing or corrupt data.