New policies will establish privacy & cybersecurity requirements for access to energy-related data
Comprehensive data initiative supports New York’s ‘Green New Deal’ strategy and mandate to achieve economywide carbon neutrality
The New York State Public Service Commission initiated a proceeding to address the strategic use of energy-related data, and to develop the policies necessary to appropriately balance privacy and system security concerns with a rapidly changing marketplace. Ready access to customer energy usage and system data is a central theme of the state’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV) strategy to animate markets and to promote innovation and customer choice.
“New York’s ‘REV’ strategy is creating a cleaner, affordable, and more resilient energy system,” PSC Chair John B. Rhodes said. “Achieving Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambitious carbon-reduction goals requires the continued development and maintenance of a strong market for the development of clean distributed energy resources. Accurate and comprehensive energy related data is an unsung but critical component of our work.”
A press release said the PSC has recognized the need to address data-related issues through many of its prior proceedings and has continued to take necessary steps to increase access to, and the appropriate use of, customer and system data in order to further New York’s clean energy goals and continue support of the department’s mission. Achieving the state’s clean energy goals requires the continued development and maintenance of system data and customer energy-related data. The benefits in doing so are numerous and encompass all levels of the market from the customer up, and also support New York state’s energy efficiency goals.
The PSC determined it was “timely and appropriate” to initiate this comprehensive proceeding to address the strategic use of energy-related data As a result of the action, Department of Public Service staff will file two whitepapers for public comment: one regarding the creation of an integrated energy data resource that would provide a platform for access to customer and system data; and a second regarding development of a data access policy framework that standardizes the necessary privacy and cybersecurity requirements for access to energy-related data.
In its December 2018 order adopting accelerated energy efficiency targets, the PSC directed the establishment of a new comprehensive data proceeding guided by the principles to: increase customers’ familiarity with and consent to appropriate data sharing; move toward improved access by third-party service providers to customers’ energy usage data, consistent with such consent; link customer energy usage data with other sources of building data, energy use drivers, and energy systems data to enable enhanced identification of opportunities for deployment of distributed energy resources and energy efficiency; and provide that mechanisms for appropriate access to customer usage data are implemented in a useful, timely, and quality-assured manner.
The PSC’s 2018 order established guiding principles to serve as foundational elements for developing policies that appropriately balance privacy concerns with the rapidly changing energy marketplace. These principles include: (1) increase customers’ familiarity with and consent to appropriate data sharing; (2) movement toward improved access by third-party service providers to customer energy usage data, consistent with consent; (3) linking customer energy usage data with other sources of building data, energy use drivers, and energy systems data to enable enhanced identification of energy efficiency/DER opportunities; and (4) providing that the mechanisms for appropriate access to customer energy usage data are implemented in a useful, timely, and quality-assured manner.
The PSC determined that, on a going forward basis, the topic of the strategic use of customer energy usage data should be further developed in a comprehensive manner.
This decision may be obtained by going to the commission documents section of the PSC’s website at www.dps.ny.gov and entering case number 20-M-0082 in the input box labeled "Search for Case/Matter Number.” Commission documents may also be obtained from the PSC’s Files Office, 14th floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 (518-474-2500).
Cuomo's “Green New Deal” aims to put the state on a path to being entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy and establishing a goal to achieve a zero-carbon emissions electricity sector by 2040, faster than any other state.