Thoughts on FERC and NARUC Smart Grid Stimulus Package recommendations to the White House

March 26, 2009 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

FERC and NARUC – our state and federal regulators – wrote the White House today urging adoption of a set of criteria for funding smart grid grants. A couple of things stood out. First, these regulators are seeking the broad benefits of smart grid, in their words, “not just advanced meters.” The comment suggests FERC and NARUC agree that advanced meters are an essential, even a core, element, but certainly not the only one.

Second, they highlighted security and privacy concerns. This includes authentication of communications, preventing unauthorized modifications to devices, and preventing unauthorized uses. No surprises there.

It was noteworthy that the regulators highlighted dynamic rates (e.g. peak-time rebate, critical peak pricing, time-of-use).

The big surprise was the lack of criteria for benefits, other than saying that projects “should intend to provide benefits.” There was no mention of increasing conservation, reducing peak demand, helping consumers save money, heightening grid reliability, or creating smart grid jobs. We trust DOE will fill in the blanks on that point, given President Obama’s clarity on those purposes for the smart grid.

– Chris King, March 26, 2009

Entry filed under: Chris King, Smart Grid, Stimulus Package. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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