expect to obtain information, e.g., via the meter, a utility webpage or some other means?
What policies do third parties follow when responding to requests or demands for disclosure of such data from law enforcement, other government agencies, and civil litigants, including what policies will the third party follow in providing consumers with notice when a request or demand is received?
The answers to these questions will provide a basis upon which the Commission can implement rules for providing customers access to their data, and also allow authorized third parties to access that customer data. Currently, SDG&E as part of a pilot program provides customers with access to usage data via an arrangement with Google. This arrangement may serve as a model for offering choice to customers and other third parties to be able to access a customer’s usage data. The Commission is looking forward to establishing a complete record on privacy and access to third parties via a decision in first quarter of 2011.
Regarding access to electricity price information as a policy matter, the Commission in Decision (D.) 09-12-046 set a goal for utilities to provide customers with access to electricity price information. Similar to privacy and access issues, the Commission is in the process of establishing a record; in this process several parties noted that since residential prices vary with consumption, it is unclear what price to communicate to customers. Additionally, due to the unique electricity tiered rate structure for California’s residential customers, sending a timely and useful price signal to residential customers may cause substantial confusion. For example, should the utility communicate a price to a customer which forecasts the monthly level of consumption, or should the price communicated simply vary depending on the aggregate consumption to date? In both cases, the sending of useful and actionable information will depend heavily upon a residential customer’s relation to their tier, which varies throughout the month, and is likely to be very difficult for the utility to accurately project and may cause customer confusion. Consequently, the Commission has sought proposals for consideration, particularly from any utility who is currently providing price information to customers and from consumer groups, who represent the concerns of customers.
A decision is anticipated by the first quarter of 2011 setting the guidelines needed to implement access to price and consumption data. The decision should resolve the policy objectives for the