PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION
[Docket U-180525—Filed July 10, 2018, 8:37 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: This inquiry will consider whether investor-owned utility deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technologies requires modification of existing rules in chapter 480-100 WAC, Electric companies and chapter 480-90 WAC, Gas companies related to consumer protection and meters. This inquiry addresses key concerns expressed by regulated companies, commission staff, and utility stakeholders regarding data privacy; remote disconnection functionality; customer deposits and prepaid services; billing requirements; customer notification; and meter testing, identification, and accuracy requirements.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 80.01.040
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: As required by the public service laws, the commission regulates investor-owned electric and natural gas companies to ensure that the rates, services, facilities, and practices of those companies are consistent with the public interest. AMI technologies present unique challenges to existing consumer protection rules. For example, the volume and type of data available to utilities raises concerns that the existing rules may not adequately define the level of data aggregation and security measures necessary to protect customers' individual usage data and personal information. The technology also provides the capability for utilities to disconnect electric customers remotely without a field staff visit to the customer premises, which may require alternative and additional consumer protections. Additionally, these technologies afford a variety of other billing and payment practice changes, such as utility service prepayment, which may require a modification to existing rules to ensure an appropriate balance of benefits and risks between the utilities and their customers.
Process for Developing New Rule: The commission is issuing a notice of opportunity to comment concurrently with the CR-101 filing and plans to host a stakeholder workshop in November 2018. The commission may also conduct other processes to gather the information necessary to determine which rules require modification.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Executive Director and Secretary, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47250 or 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504-7250, phone 360-664-1174, fax 360-586-1150, email firstname.lastname@example.org, web site www.utc.wa.gov/e-filing, deadline for interested persons to file comments with the commission is September 7, 2018, by 5:00 p.m.
Additional comments: For specific information regarding opportunities for written comments and to ensure receipt of further information concerning this rule making.
July 10, 2018
Mark L. Johnson