Bill Text: NJ S603 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires electric public utilities to install smart meters at customers' premises upon customer approval; makes meter data available to certain electric-related service entities.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-01-09 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Environment and Energy Committee [S603 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S603-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 603

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BOB SMITH

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires electric public utilities to install smart meters at customers' premises upon customer approval; makes meter data available to certain electric-related service entities.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning certain electric public utility equipment and supplementing P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-49 et al.).

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  The Legislature finds and declares that:

     (1)   the State's four electric public utilities (utilities) have had to respond to an increasing number of power outages due to recent extreme weather events and natural disasters in New Jersey, including Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and the Halloween Nor'easter and Tropical Storm Irene in 2011;

     (2)   smart meter technology provides system-wide benefits within the utilities' service territories, where the use of two-way meters capable of sending and receiving electronic data could take place anywhere within the State;

     (3)   smart meters can provide utilities with a powerful tool to aid in pinpointing outages quickly and accurately;

     (4)   smart meters empower utility customers to reduce their electricity costs by providing real-time pricing information so customers can adjust their electricity usage, and will help the State meet its energy efficiency goals in a way that reduces costs for all electricity users; and

     (5)   smart meter technology promotes the State's goal of minimizing public health impacts and improving the reliability of the State's electric power grid and energy infrastructure.

     b.    The Legislature therefore determines that:

     (1)   it is in the economic and environmental interest of the citizens of this State that the Board of Public Utilities (board) initiates a broad deployment of smart meters to begin the process of realizing the economic, environmental, health, and safety benefits that smart meter technology has promised;

     (2)   a board proceeding is the best venue to discuss and determine the technical aspects of electric grid modernization and broad smart meter deployments, including health and safety concerns;

     (3)   to encourage the adoption of smart meters and its technology and finance its deployment, the four utilities should be able to be reimbursed for the costs associated with the deployment; and

     (4)   residential utility customers, however, shall have the right to choose the type of meter that is placed on their premises; therefore, all four utilities shall offer their residential customers the option of allowing them to retain a traditional meter.

 

     2.    As used in P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Base rate case" shall have the same meaning as prescribed for that term under section 2 of P.L.1995, c.180 (C.48:2-21.25).

     "Board," "electric power supplier," "electric public utility," and "electric related service" shall have the same meaning as prescribed for those terms under section 3 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-51).

     "Customer" means the person identified in the account records of an electric public utility as the person responsible for payment of the bill for electric service.  A customer may be, but is not required to be, an end user.

     "Customer information" means information specific to a particular customer, which an electric public utility has acquired or developed while providing services under P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  "Customer information" shall include, but not be limited to, a customer's name, address, telephone number, electricity usage habits, history, or peak demand, and electric bill payment history.

     "End user" means a person who receives or consumes electric service.  An "end user" may be, but is not required to be, a customer.

     "Program" means the smart meter procurement and installation program established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     "Smart meter" means an electrical meter that provides a customer with real-time usage information and pricing data on at least an hourly basis, records and store hourly usage data, reports the status of the electric power supply to an electric public utility for the customer's premises, and turns the electric power for the customer's premises on or off through remote disconnection or connection of service.

 

     3.    a.  Within 90 days after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.)  pending before the Legislature as this bill), the board shall initiate a proceeding allowing an electric public utility to install a smart meter and any infrastructure necessary to operate a smart meter at customers' premises.  An electric public utility shall not install a smart meter without first receiving a customer's approval.

     b.    The board's proceeding shall address what information the smart meter may gather from the customer, who may access the information, how the information is transmitted, where the information is stored, the length of time the electric public utility may retain the information, when and how the information may be permanently deleted, whether the information is accessible to the public pursuant to P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) and P.L.2001, c.404 (C.47:1A-5 et al.), and any other information the board deems necessary.

     c.     Notwithstanding the provisions of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) or any law, rule, regulation, or order to the contrary, the board shall make available, upon first receiving customer approval, direct and electronic access to a customer's smart meter data by an electric power supplier or a provider of electric related service.

     d.    Upon completion of the board's proceeding, which shall not be more than one year after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), each electric public utility shall submit a proposed smart meter procurement and installation program to the board for approval and provide the board with any information the board deems necessary and appropriate.  The program shall describe, in writing, the smart meter technology the electric public utility proposes to install and shall provide the customer with:

     (1)   an explanation of the program;

     (2)   the customer's rights under the program;

     (3)   the customer's ability to opt-out of the program;

     (4)   an explanation of smart meter technology privacy features; and

     (5)   the benefits and purpose of the program.

     e.     An electric public utility shall install a smart meter at a customer's premises in a manner determined by the board.  The cost to install and operate a smart meter and any associated infrastructure shall be recoverable by an electric public utility in a base rate case.

     f.     Lost or decreased revenues incurred by an electric public utility due to reduced electricity consumption or shifting of electric demand shall not be considered by the board:

     (1)   for the cost of smart meter technology recoverable by an electric public utility under a board-approved levelized energy adjustment clause, except that decreased revenues and reduced energy consumption may be reflected in the revenue and sales data used to calculate rates in an electric public utility rate base rate proceeding; or

     (2)   as a recoverable cost by the electric public utility.

     g.    Nothing in P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be construed to prohibit an electric public utility providing basic generation service or an electric power supplier from offering time-of-use rates and real-time pricing plans after the implementation of a electric public utility's smart meter program.  The electric public utility providing basic generation service or an electric power supplier may offer the time-of-use rates and real-time pricing plan to a customer provided with smart meter technology authorized under P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  Residential or commercial customers may elect to participate in time-of-use rates or real-time pricing plans offered by an electric public utility.

     h.    An electric public utility may recover reasonable and prudent costs of providing smart meter technology authorized under P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), as determined by the board.  Reasonable and prudent costs may include annual depreciation and capital costs over the life of the smart meter technology and the cost of any system upgrades, incurred after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), that the electric public utility may require to enable the use of smart meter technology, less operating and capital cost savings realized by the electric public utility from the installation and use of smart meter technology.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately, but shall remain inoperative for 60 days following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that, within 90 days after the effective date of the bill, the Board of Public Utilities (board) is to initiate a proceeding requiring an electric public utility (utility) to install a smart meter and any infrastructure necessary to operate a smart meter at their utility customers' premises.  The utility is not to install a smart meter without first receiving customer approval.  The board's proceeding is to address what information the smart meter may gather from the customer, who may access the information, how the information is transmitted, where the information is stored, the length of time the utility may retain the information, when and how the information may be permanently deleted, whether the information is accessible to the public under the "Open Public Records Act," and any other information the board deems necessary.  The board is to make available, upon first receiving customer approval, direct and electronic access to customer smart meter data by an electric power supplier or a provider of electric related service.

     The bill requires a utility to submit its proposed smart meter procurement and installation program (program) to the board for approval and provide the board with any information the board deems necessary and appropriate.  The program is to describe, in writing, the smart meter technology the utility proposes to install and provide the customer with: 1) an explanation of the program; 2) the customer's rights under the program; 3) the customer's ability to opt-out of the program; 4) an explanation of smart meter technology privacy features; and 5) the benefits and purpose of the program.  Residential or commercial customers using smart meters may elect to participate in time-of-use rates or real-time pricing plans offered by a utility or an electric power supplier.

     The bill allows a utility to recover reasonable and prudent costs to the utility, as determined by the board, to install and operate a smart meter and any associated infrastructure and include those costs in a utility base rate case.

     As defined in the bill, a "smart meter" is an electrical meter that provides a customer with real-time usage information and pricing data on at least an hourly basis, records and store hourly usage data, reports the status of the electric power supply to an electric public utility for the customer's premises, and turns the electric power for the customer's premises on or off through remote disconnection or connection of service.

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