Pennsylvania PUC adopts final order for Smart Meter access

Published on July 06, 2016 by Jessica Limardo

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved a final order regarding security standards for third-party access to consumer Smart Meter data on Thursday, which will help residents better track energy usage and save on utility bills.

The Electronic Data Exchange Working Group first proposed the data standards in February 2015. The PUC unanimously approved the standards on Thursday by a vote of 5-0. The goal of the project is to allow consumers the ability to receive information about their energy usage. Customers who opt in would also be able to receive tips for saving on bills and options to obtain lower rates within the energy marketplace.

The project would allow usage data to be accessible to third parties only if consumers opt into the program. All personal consumer information would be kept confidential, with the PUC unanimously agreeing on a zero tolerance policy regarding the topic in an effort to protect consumers. Only usage data would be accessible, and data would be made available to companies that could help consumers better understand energy usage and savings opportunities, such as electric generation suppliers.

The project is expected to balance the needs of consumers while furthering the energy economy in Pennsylvania. The new initiative seeks to educate the public on getting the most out of the energy marketplace while providing a platform through which businesses can better compete by helping customers save.