Back 

Smart Grid State Action Update

2012 Smart Grid State Action

Updated July 9, 2012

By Jacquelyn Pless

Electrical towerSmart grid refers to technologies that enable more reliable and efficient delivery of electricity. These technologies provide better feedback of grid operations so responses can be more accurate and happen more quickly. They help utilities identify outages and faulty equipment and improve emergency responses.

Smart meters, a key component of the smart grid, provide two-way communication between energy users and utility companies. They can provide timely and accurate power consumption information, supplying customers and utilities with information about electricity demand and allowing for time-of-day pricing.

Synchrophasor technologies, which provide real-time measurement of electricity, can help monitor transmission grid conditions and improve overall grid operation and reliability. Other demand response technologies which can help identify problems in the grid include dynamic energy storage systems, smart thermostats, energy management systems and dynamic lighting controls.1

Furthermore, integrated communications, such as Wi-Fi, helps create an interactive infrastructure for information exchange.2

State Action

At least 13 states considered 31 bills this session that address smart grid technology. Seven states—California, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma and Vermont—enacted legislation on the issue.

Promoting Deployment

Six states are considering or enacted laws to promote smart grid deployment: Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Vermont.

Illinois enacted S.B. 1652 to promote investment in a Smart Grid Advanced Metering Infrastructure Deployment Plan. The new law also created a Smart Grid Advisory Council to advise and work with participating utilities on plan development and implementation.

Ohio enacted S.B. 315 to encourage innovation and market access for cost-effective supply and demand-side retail electric service, including smart grid programs. Vermont’s S.B. 78 (enacted) established policies and programs to help facilitate statewide smart grid deployment by the end of 2013.

Allowing Customers to Opt-Out

While state legislators recognize the benefits of smart grid deployment, they also acknowledge some customers have confidentiality and privacy concerns. Some states have provided the option to deny smart meter installation and creating data protection laws.

Six states are considering (or enacted) legislation allowing customers to opt-out of smart meter installations or requiring customer consent prior to installation: Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

New Hampshire enacted S.B. 266 to prohibit electric utilities from installing and maintaining smart meter gateway devices without the property owner’s consent. Utilities must also disclose (in writing) whether a device has been installed.

Vermont’s S.B. 214 (enacted) requires customer written consent prior to installing a wireless smart meter, and smart meters can be removed upon request

Cyber Security and Data Protection

California, Maine, Ohio and Oklahoma enacted legislation to enhance customer data confidentiality, or to examine cyber security and privacy issues.

Senate Bill 674 in California (enacted) required contracts between third parties that share customer energy consumption data, and electrical and gas corporations, to obtain prescribed customer consent before using the data. Maine’s H.B. 563 (enacted) directed the Public Utilities Commission to examine current cyber security and privacy issues related to smart meters. Ohio’s H.B. 331 (enacted) created a Cybersecurity, Education and Economic Development Council to help improve the state’s infrastructure of cybersecurity operations. Oklahoma enacted H.B. 1079 to create an Electric Usage Data Protection Act, requiring electric utilities to provide customers with access to, and maintain confidentiality of, customer information.

Below is a chart of recent state legislation addressing smart grid.

Smart Grid State Legislation

State Bill Number Status Summary
California S.B 674 Enacted

Required contracts between third parties that share customer energy consumption data, and electrical and gas corporations, to obtain prescribed customer consent before using the data. This refers to data about a customer's electrical usage that is made available as part of an advanced metering infrastructure.

Illinois  H.B. 1329  Pending

Would provide that municipalities and counties can establish green energy special service areas for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements, including installation of smart grid technology. Property owners within the special service area would be able to arrange for certain improvements through an agreement with the municipality or county and would be able to obtain financing.

   H.B. 3754  Pending

Would create the Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure Act, noting that to sustain emission-free driving, there must be uniform, statewide standards to develop a smart grid charging infrastructure for electric vehicles to efficiently connect to the grid.

  S.B. 2507  Pending

Would create a new article concerning electrical outages and emergency preparedness for electric utilities. Would require electric utilities to establish Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) capable of receiving communications from municipalities and counties regarding down power lines or other damage. Would require annual reports to municipalities that includes information on smart grid implementation plans for municipalities and counties

  S.B. 1652  Enacted

Implemented provisions to invest in and promote a Smart Grid Advanced Metering Infrastructure Deployment Plan. Created a Smart Grid Advisory Council to advise and work with participating utilities on development and implementation of the plan.

  H.B. 3036  Enacted

Amended the infrastructure investement program period and the Smart Grid Advisory Council.

  H.B. 14  Pending

Would provide that an electric or gas utility may elect and commit to undertake the infrastructure investment program.

Massachusetts

S.B. 1685  Pending

Would create a Repower Massachusetts Emergency Task Force with subcommittees, including one to study the challenge of intermittency and smart grids.

Maine

H.B. 563  Enacted

 Directed the Public Utilities Commission to examine current cyber security and privacy issues related to smart meters.

Michigan

H.B. 5411  Pending

Would provide for certain requirements and prohibitions pertaining to advanced meters, such as requiring electric utilities to allow customers to decline installation or use of an advanced meter. Would provide that utilities must uninstall advanced meters at a customer's request.

  H.B. 5439  Pending

Would require that utilities do not make service to a residential customer contingent on the installation of an advanced meter. Would not allow utilities to offer or provide a discounted rate, meter price discount, rebate, or other incentive for requesting or accepting advanced meter installation. Would not allow utilities to install advanced meters at a residence unless the customer has requested one or the utility notified the customer of the intention to install an advanced meter at least 180 days prior and the customer has not opted out.

New Hampshire

S.B. 266  Enacted

Prohibits electric utilities from installing and maintaining smart meter gateway devices without the property owner's consent. Utilities must disclose (in writing) whether a device has been installed.

New Jersey

S.B. 1481 Pending

Would direct the Board of Public Utilities to establish certain energy conservation programs, including installation of advanced meter technology.

  A.B. 3079 Pending

Would establish a Cyber Security Bureau within the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

New York

A.B. 296 & S.B. 6936 Pending

Would authorize tenants of residential rental buildings to request installation of advanced or smart meters.

  S.B. 1084 Pending

Would provide residential customers with an option for greater control over the cost of electrical services by installing real-time smart meters.

  A.B. 2144, S.B. 3466, A.B. 6484 & S.B. 4149 Pending

 Would establish a nodal metering initiative demonstration project to pick points along the transmission and distribution grids for smart meter installations to measure electricity consumption within a certain community, carry out a test, and provide results for evaluation.

  S.B. 7184 Pending

 Would allow consumers to elect not to use smart meters and would prohibit the commission from charging a fee for opting out.

  A.B. 9663 & S.B. 6762 To Governor

Would authorize the Urban Development Corporation to establish a Cyber Research Institute for research and development in cyber security.

Ohio

S.B. 315 Enacted

Encouraged innovation and market access for cost-effective supply and demand-side retail electric service, including smart grid programs.

   H.B. 331  Enacted

Created a Cybersecurity, Education and Economic Development Council to help improve the state’s infrastructure of cyber security operations.

Oklahoma

H.B. 1079  Enacted

Finding that smart grid and smart meter technologies have the potential to provide consumer and environmental benefits, the Legislature also recognized the need to establish standards to govern the access to and use of data. This bill created an Electric Usage Data Protection Act, requiring electric utilities to provide customers with access to, and maintain confidentiality of, customer information.

Pennsylvania

H.B. 2188  Pending Would allow customers to opt-out of receiving a smart meter.

Rhode Island

H.B. 7795  Pending

Would allow consumers to decline the installation of a wireless electric meter and substitute it with a wired smart meter.

Vermont

S.B. 78  Enacted

 Established policies and programs to help facilitate statewide smart grid deployment by the end of the year 2013.

  S.B. 214  Enacted

Required the Public Service Board to establish terms and conditions regarding wireless smart meters. Required that customer's written consent must be given prior to installation, and required removal of smart meters upon request.

 

  1. Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition, Demand Response, Smart Grid and Climate Change: Questions & Answers
  2. Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse, Enabling Technologies
     

 

Share this: 
We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill.

NCSL Member Toolbox

Denver

7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800

Washington

444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069

Copyright 2014 by National Conference of State Legislatures