Silicon Valley Power addresses security, privacy concerns of advanced meter technology


John Roukema,
Director of SVP
Santa Clara, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — December 17, 2010 – Privacy and security concerns of customers are a priority for the City of Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility, Silicon Valley Power (SVP), and the company is addressing these prior to introducing of advanced meters in 2011 and 2012, saying its SVP Meter ConnectTM data security will be on a par with the encryption level of sensitive government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense.
“We share our customers’ concern about both protecting their privacy and assuring security of electricity usage data,” said John Roukema, Director of SVP. “We have a very high level of confidence in the advanced metering infrastructure and network technology that we are going to deploy in Santa Clara.”
SVP has selected Elster’s EnergyAxis® smart grid solution for deployment across its service area, with Tropos’ GridCom™ as the distribution area communications network.

Following several months of testing, SVP will commence a phased rollout of the SVP Meter Connect program, beginning in 2011 with the local business community and then in 2012 the residential customers. The SVP Meter Connect deployment is scheduled to be completed over a three-year period to the company’s more than 50,000 customers, including Applied Materials, Intel, National Semiconductor and Yahoo!
SVP Meter Connect has also contracted with Milton Security Group to analyze and evaluate the privacy and security measures installed in the SVP Meter Connect program.
The wireless equipment and network installed for the SVP Meter Connect program will also provide residents with free outdoor access to public Wi-Fi. The public Wi-Fi data streams, or channels, are not encrypted by SVP and will be completely segregated from the highly-encrypted and separate advanced meter data management system.
SVP’s disclosure of its security measures comes as a customer survey found that privacy was a concern even though over two-thirds of SVP customers believe advanced meters are a “good idea.”