Vermont Public Service Board seeks public comment on new technology

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September 15, 2011


Brattleboro, VT: The Vermont Public Service Board is leading informal discussions on smart grid technology this evening. The board is seeking public input on "issues related to privacy and cybersecurity as Vermont utilities prepare to install high tech smart meters at customers' homes."[1]

Two electric utility companies in the state, Central Vermont Public Service and Green Mountain Power, are preparing to install smart meters that will use a two-way communication system to relay electrical use information from their customer's homes. The hearing, which will be broadcast across the state, is an opportunity for the board to address citizen concerns about whether or not the information transmitted would be safe from hackers.

The executive director of the Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union wants to ensure law enforcement agencies and officers do not have unauthorized access to the information, citing other forms of electronic communication that have been utilized by law enforcement in the past: GPS, cell phone records, and other data. A spokesman for the Central Vermont Public Service has said his company "will treat the information like it is our own and make sure the information is protected."[1]