Smart Grid Privacy


Energy usage data collected by smart meters has increased granularity that carries inherent privacy concerns. Smart Grid data may disclose intimate personal details about a customer's presence or absence from the home, health, purchasing preferences, and co-habitation arrangements.  In July 2011, the Commission issued a Decision which instituted privacy and security rules to protect customers’ energy usage data by governing the management of the three large investor-owned utilities’ customer energy data. 

In August 2012, the Commission adopted a Decision expanding these privacy rules to gas corporations, and community choice aggregators, and residential and small commercial customers of electric service providers.  


ORA Position

ORA advocated for privacy rules that will protect California customers’ energy data information, and strongly supports the Commission’s decision to extend those privacy rules to gas corporations and community choice aggregators, and to residential and small commercial customers of electric service providers. ORA supported the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) that require full disclosure and safeguards for customer data, which were translated by the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, including:

  • Limit appropriate uses of data to those purposes specifically related to fulfilling energy policy goals and operational needs.
  • Rules should follow the data, regardless of what entity accesses the data. 

Proceeding Status

See the proceeding docket. 


Other Resources