COSEIA has just filed testimony to the Public Utilities Commission on an important Xcel docket that governs Xcel’s advance grid infrastructure including “smart” meters and the communication components that will transmit data from customers to Xcel and back again. Use, protection and ownership of the data produced by new grid and meter technology is a hot issue in many states right now. While utilities tend to want to control that data, consumers and solar companies could benefit in important way from access to it, developing new products and services and improving their products and services.

COSEIA believes that the PUC should approve the docket, but adopt a series of requirements that would enhance customers’ ability to benefit from the modernized grid.

These requirements include:

  • Prevent onerous requirements on distributed energy resource (which includes solar) customers
  • Ensure that advanced meter functionality will support future rates
  • Provide customers with real-time access to data through home area networks and other means
  • Streamline customers’ ability to transfer their data to third parties (such as solar companies)

On the whole, COSEIA is urging the PUC to be sure that Xcel’s proposed software architecture will accommodate growth and change in the distributed energy (ie. solar and batteries) landscape in the future. Specifically COSEIA wants to establish this goal as part of Xcel’s business requirements for the company’s advanced distribution management system.

Lastly, COSEIA recommends that the PUC set up reporting requirements for Xcel to ensure that the new advanced grid infrastructure lives up to its promise, particularly in the benefits it provides to customers.
COSEIA Testimony in Advanced Grid Docket