Smart meters: Getting the privacy controls right

What privacy controls should be put in place to ensure customers’ information shared with energy suppliers remain confidential?

Our head of consultancy Ian Davis was recently featured on Energy Live News’ guest blog discussing the importance of correct privacy controls:

What privacy controls should be put in place to ensure customers’ information shared with energy suppliers remain confidential?

This question has been ongoing for a few years but it has reached a tipping point with the imminent wide-scale deployment of smart meters. Customers, energy suppliers and distributors who have historically relied on assessing domestic household energy usage through four readings a year are increasingly installing smart meters that are capable of taking readings every half hour – that’s around 17,520 readings each year!

But there’s more.

Dual fuel users could well be sending more than 35,000 readings annually to their energy suppliers.

The Data Communications Company (DCC) is responsible for ensuring meter readings are sent to the right supplier and the right distributor.

Customers with smart meters will soon be able to permit Other Users to access their energy consumption records directly from the DCC.

But what controls should be in place to ensure these Other Users respect customer privacy? And when might it be necessary to prevent Others Users from accessing energy consumption records on the grounds the privacy controls are not adequate?

These matters have recently been considered by the Smart Energy Code (SEC) Panel. In June 2015 it appointed an Independent Privacy Auditor (the Competent Independent Organisation or CIO) and tasked it with designing a Privacy Controls framework that meets the requirements of the SEC…

To read the full blog article please visit the Energy Live News blog page.

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