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Department of Energy Data Access and Privacy Issues Related To Smart Grid Technologies

This report by the Department of Energy (DOE) complements DOE‘s companion report, Informing Federal Smart Grid Policy: The Communications Requirements of Electric Utilities. Both reports are also components of the federal government‘s much broader efforts to facilitate the adoption and deployment of various Smart Grid technologies. These ongoing broader efforts have encompassed many agencies including many operational units within DOE, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Technology‘s Subcommittee on Smart Grid. This report and its companion report also respond to recommendations directed toward DOE in the National Broadband Plan (the NBP), authored by the FCC at the direction of Congress. The NBP seeks to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability. The NBP also includes a detailed strategy for achieving affordability and maximizing use of broadband to advance consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, health care delivery, energy independence and efficiency, education, entrepreneurial activity, job creation and economic growth, and other national purposes. As part of this strategy, the NBP made recommendations to various Federal agencies, including DOE. In particular, the NBP recommended that DOE evaluate the overall communications needs of the Smart Grid, consider consumer-data-accessibility policies when evaluating Smart Grid grant applications, and report on the states‘ progress toward enacting consumer data accessibility and develop best practices guidance for states. This report implements the latter two recommendations, while the companion report implements the first recommendation.