On January 12, 2015, President Obama announced the final concepts and principles for a Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCC) related to privacy of customer energy usage data for utilities and third parties. The final VCC is the result of a 22-month multistakeholder effort which was facilitated by the Energy Department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability in coordination with the Federal Smart Grid Task Force. The VCC reflects input from stakeholders across the electricity industry and incorporates comments and responses from the public that were collected via DOE’s Federal Register Notice issued earlier this year. The VCC will be instrumental in providing mechanism for demonstrating how consumer’s data is protected and secured thus instilling consumer confidence.
Throughout the U.S., intelligence is being added to the grid through the deployment of advanced technologies and grid modernization efforts. This increased intelligence has led to concerns regarding consumer data access and the privacy of consumer energy consumption data. Historically, utilities have taken very seriously the job of protecting customers’ privacy, and privacy and security protections will remain fundamental objectives. However, with the new technologies being deployed today, these fundamental protections warrant new attention. Consumers must feel secure that their data will be protected and treated responsibly. Therefore, it is important that stakeholders on all sides of the privacy debate work together to address concerns and coordinate activities.
On January 31, 2012, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (DOE OE) hosted the Smart Grid Privacy Workshop to facilitate a dialog among key industry stakeholders. In addition, on February 23, 2012, the White House released the report, Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy (Privacy Blueprint). The Privacy Blueprint outlines a multistakeholer process for developing legally enforceable voluntary codes of conduct (VCC) to help instill consumer confidence.
In response to workshop findings and in support of the Privacy Blueprint, DOE OE and the Federal Smart Grid Task Force are facilitating a multistakeholder process to develop a Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCC) for utilities and third parties providing consumer energy use services that will addresses privacy related to data enabled by smart grid technologies.
The following documents are public comments received in response to DOE's Federal Register Notice.
- APPA Comments
- Daniel Secrist Comments
- EEI Comments
- EEI Supplemental Comments
- FTC Comments
- Kim Post Comments
- Simple Energy Comments
- Southern Company Comments
Work Groups have been established to focus on the development of the mission statement and the evaluation of different aspects of the proposed VCC elements. If you are interested in participating in a Work Group or have questions regarding their activities, please contact the appropriate lead directly.
Work Group Leads
- Mission Statement Work Group – Dan Francis, AEP,
- Notice/Awareness Work Group - Amanda Stallings, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio,
- Choice/Consent Work Group – Eric Ackerman, EEI,
- Access/Participation Work Group – Megan Hertzler, Xcel Energy,
- Integrity/Security Work Group – Brandon Robinson, Balch & Bingham LLP, representing Southern Company,
- Management/Redress Work Group - Chuck Piotrowski, Green Mountain Power,
- Integration Work Group - Eric Ackerman, Edison Electric Institute,
- Implementation Work Group - Lincoln Wood, Southern Company,
December 11, 2014
U.S. Department of Energy Webinar on Smart Grid Data Privacy: A Voluntary Code of Conduct
On Thursday, December 11, 2014, the Energy Department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability in coordination with the Federal Smart Grid Task Force conducted a webinar to conclude the development phase of a Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCC) related to privacy of customer energy usage data for utilities and third parties. The webinar summarized changes made to the VCC concepts and principles as a result of comments received through the public comment period. In addition, a proposed implementation plan and adoption process was presented as well as preliminary results from focus groups conducted to gauge consumer sentiment.
- FTC Perspective, Mark Eichorn
- VCC Implementation, Lincoln Wood
- Responsive Changes to Public Comments, Eric Ackerman
- Focus Group Results, Jim Jager
- Moving Forward and Next Steps, Eric Lightner
- Public comment edits
- Marketing plan
- Adoption and revision blueprint.
November 22, 2013
A third meeting was convened on November 22, 2013 to discuss the draft principles.
November 22, 2013 meeting documents:
- Meeting Minutes Nov 22 FINAL.pdf
- Assembled Draft Principles 111413.pdf
- Agenda Draft Nov 22 meeting final.pdf
- choice consent draft principles 2013_11_08.pdf
- choice and consent examples final2013_11.pdf
- DOE VCC Integrity-Security Draft Principles (11-7-2013).pdf
- Self-Enforcement_Redress - final principles 11_2013.pdf
- US DOE Privacy VCC Mission Statement.pdf
- VCC NAWG Draft Principles 2013_11_08.pdf
June 4, 2013
The second meeting took place on June 4, 2013 2013 from 9:30am to 5:00pm in Washington, D.C..
June 4 Meeting Documents:
- VCC Meeting Minutes June 4 2013
- Agenda for June 4 Meeting
- Work Group Structure
- VCC Mission Statement Draft
- VCC Notice and Awareness Group Summary
- Choice and Consent June 4 Meeting Doc
- Access and Participation Members
- Access and Participation Issues Table
- Integrity Security Review
- Self enforcement and redress
June 4 Meeting Presentations:
- Choice and consent #3 report june 4
- DOE VCC Workgroup #4 Access
- DOE VCC Workgroup #5 Integrity Security summary
- DOE VCC Workgroup #6 Management Redress
- Mission Statement Subgroup Slides final
- VCC Notice Group Presentation June 3 2013
February 26, 2013
Federal Smart Grid Task Force convened the first meeting in the multistakeholder process on February 26, 2013 from 9:30am to 4:30 pm in Washington, DC. Stakeholders engaged in an open, transparent, consensus-driven process to develop the VCC. The objectives of the meeting were to 1) promote discussion among stakeholders regarding a proposed VCC outline, including the types of data to be covered and 2) establish procedural rules for developing the VCC.
February 26, 2013 Meeting Documents: