The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last month took action to ensure the effectiveness of smart grid investments by developing 19 metrics that will be used by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric to report on Smart Grid deployment, as part of annual reports to be submitted to the CPUC.

The metrics are designed to monitor and evaluate the performance of the Smart Grid and its technologies. The metrics that are to be reported to the CPUC by October 1st of each year include:

  • Number of Smart Meter malfunctions where customer electric service is disrupted.
  • Number of utility owned Smart Meters supporting consumer devices with Home Area Network (HAN) or comparable consumer energy monitoring or measurement devices registered with the utility.
  • Number of escalated customer complaints related to the accuracy, functioning, or installation of Smart Meters or the functioning of a utility administered HAN with registered consumer devices.
  • Number of utility owned Smart Meters replaced annually before the end of their expected useful life.
  • Number and percentage of customers with Smart Meters using a utility administered Internet or a web-based portal to access energy usage information or to enroll in utility energy information programs.
  • Number of customers enrolled in time-variant electric vehicle tariffs.
  • System-wide and total number of minutes per year of sustained outage per customer served.
  • Total annual electricity deliveries from customer-owned or operated, grid-connected distributed generation facilities.

Said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey, "The metrics we approved today will measure the extent and effectiveness of Smart Grid investments made by utilities and will help ensure that stakeholders are moving in a common policy direction."

The decision directs parties and CPUC staff to create four Technical Working Groups to address 1) updates or revisions to the adopted metrics, if needed; 2) the creation of metrics related to cyber-security; 3) the creation of metrics related to environmental benefits; and, 4) the creation of broad goals to focus all stakeholders toward a common vision.

The proposal voted on is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/EFILE/PD/162118.pdf.