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November 2, 2012
NEM Winter Executive Committee Meeting

Please mark your calendars for NEM's Winter Executive Committee Meeting to be held on January 28-30, 2013. The meeting will once again be held at SCRA located at 5300 International Blvd, North Charleston, South Carolina. Many thanks to Bill Mahoney and SCRA for graciously hosting us. You may register for the meeting at this hotlink. Accommodations for the meeting have been arranged at the Hilton Garden Inn. Please use this hotlink to make your hotel reservations.

Click here to view all past updates.
Staff Files Proposed Draft Municipal Aggregation Rules

Staff filed proposed draft municipal aggregation rules with the Commission. The rules address the provision of customer information by the utility to the aggregator and would require that utilities providing residential and small commercial customer data, "must identify, at a minimum, customers that are receiving, or pending to receive, utility hourly service or RES service. The identification of customers receiving RES service, or pending to receive RES service, shall not disclose the names of the RES providing such services." The draft rules include required disclosures to be made to customers by governmental aggregators such as the aggregator's name and logo as well as a statement to the effect that all customers have the ability to purchase their electricity supply from a Retail Electric Supplier. The draft rules also set forth processes for the aggregator to provide disclosures to customers regarding prices, terms and conditions, any applicable termination fees, and how to participate. The full text of Staff's Draft Proposed Rules is available on the NEM Website.

ComEd Rate GAP Filing

In view of the near-term expiration of the first wave of municipal aggregation programs in its service territory in spring 2013, ComEd has filed proposed revisions to its Rate GAP (Government Aggregation Protocols) tariff. Of particular note is the proposed modification to the process by which customer information is provided by ComEd to governmental aggregators under the tariff. Under the current process, ComEd first provides the names and addresses of residential and small commercial retail customers in the aggregated area at the request of the Governmental Authority. Secondarily, ComEd later provides the account numbers of customers who have not opted out of an aggregation program, are RES customers, or are supplied under ComEd's hourly pricing tariff. ComEd now proposes to condense this to a one-step process, "whereby all names and addresses and the corresponding account numbers of such customers are provided in a single list, including those of customers that are served by a RES or under ComEd’s Rate BESH." The full text of ComEd's Filing is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Proceeding on Customer Data Privacy

The Commission opened a proceeding to address the issue of customer data privacy in the context of AMI deployment. The Commission proposed a framework for development of customer privacy policies as follows:
"1. The scope of a utility privacy policy should encompass all customer information or data collected and maintained by the utility, the utility’s affiliates, or its contractors.
2. The privacy policy should clearly define customer usage data, personally identifiable information, aggregate information, and other customer information collected or maintained by the utility.
3. The policy should protect all customer information from unauthorized use or disclosure by the utility, its affiliates, and contractors.
4. The policy should ensure that customer usage data, personally identifiable information, and certain other customer information are only disclosed to third parties with the customer’s written consent.
5. The policy should specify that customer information may be disclosed without consent in response to a warrant or court order, as required for collection activities, or as necessary to provide essential utility service.
6. Nothing in the privacy policy should preclude a customer from sharing his or her information with a third party that is not affiliated with the utility, and the privacy policy should clarify that the utility is not responsible, in this circumstance, for unauthorized disclosure or use of this information by a third party.
7. The privacy policy should not apply to aggregate information, containing general characteristics of a customer group, used for analysis, reporting, or program design purposes.
8. The privacy policy should be easy to understand and should be provided to a customer when the customer commences utility service, whenever the policy is updated, and one time per calendar year thereafter. The privacy policy should also be readily available on the company’s website."

The Commission also raised a series of questions for Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy to respond to:

"1. Should a utility be authorized to sell any customer information at all? Should it be permitted to do so only with the customer’s consent? If so, to what type of entities might information be sold, and how should the Code of Conduct apply in this circumstance?
2. Should a privacy policy address customer access to the customer’s information or should that issue be addressed by rules or utility tariffs?
3. How long should various types of customer information be maintained by the utility, if not already specified by Commission rules?
4. Should customer usage information or other customer information be provided to contractors providing demand response, load management, or energy efficiency programs (collectively, energy services) without customer consent? If so, should contractual limits be placed on the use or disclosure of the information by the energy services provider(s)?"

The utilities comments on the proposed framework and questions are due December 17, 2012. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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