Smart Metering and Privacy: Existing Laws and Competing Policies

58 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2009 Last revised: 13 Apr 2014

Date Written: May 9, 2009


This paper examines the many competing policy issues surrounding the development of the smart grid, including supporting technological innovation and protecting consumer privacy. The paper uses potential privacy-protection regulation as a lens through which to envision smart grid development, as privacy protections will determine, in many ways, information flows and network architectures. The paper concludes with recommended structures for regulating the disclosure and trafficing of smart grid information about consumer electricity usage.

This paper was originally presented to the Colorado Public Utitlies Commission in May 2009, and then was used as a framing document in opening the Colorado PUC's investigatory docket concerning smart grid privacy concerns: Docket No. 09I-593EG.

Keywords: smart grid, smart meter, privacy

JEL Classification: D82, L94

Suggested Citation

Quinn, Elias Leake, Smart Metering and Privacy: Existing Laws and Competing Policies (May 9, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

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