PG&E filed an application at the California Public Utilities Commission requesting $19.4 million to fund the project to provide third parties with access to a customers' electricity usage data (when authorized by the customer) as part of its Customer Data Access Project.

Following the Commissioner's earlier decision regarding  privacy and security restrictions on customer data, PG&E proposes a customer verification process that will require affirmative confirmation from customers authorizing third parties access to their electricity usage data, as well as specific specifications regarding the scope and duration of such third party access.

The Customer Data Access Project is obviously an important step in the quest for a smart grid in California, and another set of costs incurred by customers in order to make the smart grid a reality, so all those companies seeking to use energy data in their products should pay close attention to how PG&E's application moves forward.