Introduced in House Passed House Introduced in Senate Passed Senate To President Became Law
02/06/2020          

E-Access Act

Date Version PDF TXT
02/06/2020 Introduced in House Open

            I 

116TH CONGRESS 
2D SESSION H. R. 5796 

To enhance consumer access to electric energy and natural gas information, 
to allow for the adoption of innovative products and services to help 
consumers manage their energy usage, and for other purposes. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

FEBRUARY 6, 2020 
Mr. WELCH (for himself and Mr. CARTWRIGHT) introduced the following bill; 

which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce 

A BILL 
To enhance consumer access to electric energy and natural 

gas information, to allow for the adoption of innovative 
products and services to help consumers manage their 
energy usage, and for other purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-1

tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 3

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Access to Consumer 4

Energy Information Act’’ or the ‘‘E–Access Act’’. 5

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS. 6

In this Act: 7

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2 

•HR 5796 IH

(1) ADVANCED METER.—The term ‘‘advanced 1

meter’’ means a device that— 2

(A) measures and records usage data at a 3

minimum in hourly intervals; 4

(B) provides such usage data at least daily 5

to the applicable electric utility or gas utility; 6

and 7

(C) may provide such usage data to con-8

sumers. 9

(2) ELECTRIC UTILITY.—The term ‘‘electric 10

utility’’ has the meaning given such term in section 11

3 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 12

1978 (16 U.S.C. 2602). 13

(3) ELECTRIC CONSUMER.—The term ‘‘electric 14

consumer’’ has the meaning given such term in sec-15

tion 3 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act 16

of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2602). 17

(4) GAS CONSUMER.—The term ‘‘gas con-18

sumer’’ has the meaning given such term in section 19

302 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 20

1978 (15 U.S.C. 3202). 21

(5) GAS UTILITY.—The term ‘‘gas utility’’ has 22

the meaning given such term in section 302 of the 23

Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (15 24

U.S.C. 3202). 25

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3 

•HR 5796 IH

(6) RETAIL ELECTRIC ENERGY INFORMA-1

TION.—The term ‘‘retail electric energy informa-2

tion’’ means— 3

(A) the electric energy usage of an electric 4

consumer over a time interval, as measured and 5

recorded by the applicable advanced meter; 6

(B) the retail electric energy prices or 7

rates applied to the electric energy usage for 8

the time interval described in subparagraph (A) 9

for the electric consumer; 10

(C) the cost of service provided to an elec-11

tric consumer, as displayed on billing informa-12

tion provided to such electric consumer; and 13

(D) in the case of nonresidential electric 14

meters, any other electrical information that the 15

meter is programmed to record that is used for 16

billing purposes (such as demand measured in 17

kilowatts, voltage, frequency, current, and 18

power factor). 19

(7) RETAIL NATURAL GAS INFORMATION.—The 20

term ‘‘retail natural gas information’’ means— 21

(A) the natural gas usage of a gas con-22

sumer, as measured and recorded by the appli-23

cable gas utility; 24

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4 

•HR 5796 IH

(B) the retail natural gas prices or rates 1

applied to the natural gas usage described in 2

subparagraph (A) for the gas consumer; 3

(C) the cost of service provided to a gas 4

consumer, as displayed on billing information 5

provided to such gas consumer; and 6

(D) in the case of nonresidential natural 7

gas meters, any other information that the 8

meter is programmed to record that is used for 9

billing purposes. 10

(8) SECRETARY.—The term ‘‘Secretary’’ means 11

the Secretary of Energy. 12

SEC. 3. CONSUMER ACCESS TO ELECTRIC ENERGY AND 13

NATURAL GAS INFORMATION. 14

(a) ELIGIBILITY FOR STATE ENERGY PLANS.—Sec-15

tion 362(d) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act 16

(42 U.S.C. 6322(d)) is amended— 17

(1) in paragraph (16), by striking ‘‘and’’ after 18

the semicolon at the end; 19

(2) by redesignating paragraph (17) as para-20

graph (18); and 21

(3) by inserting after paragraph (16) the fol-22

lowing: 23

‘‘(17) programs— 24

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5 

•HR 5796 IH

‘‘(A) to enhance consumer access to and 1

understanding of electric energy and natural 2

gas usage and cost information, including con-3

sumers’ own residential and commercial retail 4

electric energy information (as defined in sec-5

tion 2 of the E–Access Act) and retail natural 6

gas information (as defined in section 2 of the 7

E–Access Act); and 8

‘‘(B) to facilitate the development and 9

adoption of innovative products and services to 10

assist consumers in managing energy consump-11

tion and expenditures; and’’. 12

(b) GUIDELINES FOR ELECTRIC CONSUMER AND GAS 13

CONSUMER ACCESS.— 14

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days 15

after the date of enactment of this Act and subject 16

to paragraph (2), the Secretary shall issue guidelines 17

that establish model data sharing standards and 18

policies for States to provide electric consumers and 19

gas consumers, and third-party designees of such 20

electric consumers and gas consumers, with access 21

to retail electric energy information and retail nat-22

ural gas information. 23

(2) CONSULTATION.—Before issuing the guide-24

lines under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall— 25

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6 

•HR 5796 IH

(A) consult with— 1

(i) State and local regulatory authori-2

ties; 3

(ii) other appropriate Federal agen-4

cies, including the National Institute of 5

Standards and Technology; 6

(iii) consumer and privacy advocacy 7

groups; 8

(iv) electric utilities and gas utilities; 9

(v) the National Association of State 10

Energy Officials; and 11

(vi) other appropriate entities, includ-12

ing groups representing public utility com-13

missions, commercial and residential build-14

ing owners, residential contractors, and 15

groups that represent demand response 16

and electricity data devices and services; 17

and 18

(B) provide notice and opportunity for 19

comment. 20

(3) STATE AND LOCAL REGULATORY ACTION.— 21

In issuing the guidelines under paragraph (1), the 22

Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, 23

be guided by actions taken by State and local regu-24

latory authorities to ensure electric consumer and 25

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7 

•HR 5796 IH

gas consumer access to retail electric energy infor-1

mation and retail natural gas information, including 2

actions taken after consideration of the standard es-3

tablished under section 111(d)(19) of the Public 4

Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 5

2621(d)(19)). 6

(4) CONTENTS.—The guidelines issued under 7

paragraph (1) shall include guidelines— 8

(A) specifying that retail electric energy in-9

formation and retail natural gas information of 10

an electric consumer or a gas consumer should 11

be made available to the electric consumer or 12

gas consumer (or a third-party designee of the 13

electric consumer or gas consumer) by the elec-14

tric utility or gas utility of the electric con-15

sumer or gas consumer (or such other entity as 16

may be designated by the utility), in consulta-17

tion with, or with approval from, as applicable, 18

the utility’s applicable retail regulatory author-19

ity; 20

(B) regarding the timeliness and specificity 21

of retail electric energy information and retail 22

natural gas information to be made available to 23

an electric consumer or a gas consumer (or a 24

third-party designee of such an electric con-25

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8 

•HR 5796 IH

sumer or such a gas consumer), including that 1

such retail electric energy information and re-2

tail natural gas information should be made 3

available— 4

(i) in an electronic machine readable 5

form, without additional charge, in con-6

formity with nationally recognized open 7

standards and best practices that are de-8

veloped through a voluntary, consensus- 9

based, multistakeholder process; 10

(ii) through a website or other elec-11

tronic access authorized by the electric 12

consumer or gas consumer, for a period of 13

at least 13 months after the date on which 14

the usage occurred; 15

(iii) in as close to real-time as is rea-16

sonably practicable; 17

(iv) at the level of specificity that the 18

data is transmitted by the meter or as is 19

reasonably practicable; and 20

(v) in a manner that provides ade-21

quate protections for the security of the in-22

formation and the privacy of the electric 23

consumer or gas consumer; 24

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9 

•HR 5796 IH

(C) regarding appropriate nationally recog-1

nized open standards for data exchange; 2

(D) regarding access of retail electric en-3

ergy information and retail natural gas infor-4

mation for owners and managers of multitenant 5

commercial and residential buildings; 6

(E) regarding consumer consent require-7

ments such that an electric consumer or gas 8

consumer can conveniently and securely author-9

ize a third-party designee access to the retail 10

electric energy information or retail natural gas 11

information of such electric consumer or gas 12

consumer, including standardized authorization 13

language to which an electric consumer or gas 14

consumer will agree prior to such electric con-15

sumer or gas consumer authorizing, or the ap-16

plicable electric utility or gas utility sharing, re-17

tail electric energy information or retail natural 18

gas information of such electric consumer or 19

gas consumer; 20

(F) specifying that electric utilities and gas 21

utilities should, when an advanced meter is 22

servicing an electric consumer or gas consumer, 23

communicate usage information to a device or 24

network of the electric consumer or gas con-25

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10 

•HR 5796 IH

sumer or a device or network of a third-party 1

designee of such electric consumer or gas con-2

sumer, and where feasible should provide to the 3

electric consumer or gas consumer or third- 4

party designee, at a minimum, access to usage 5

information (not including price information) of 6

the electric consumer or gas consumer directly 7

from the advanced meter in as close to real- 8

time as is reasonably practicable; and 9

(G) with respect to the terms and condi-10

tions, which shall be reasonable and non-dis-11

criminatory, to be agreed to by a third-party 12

designee of an electric consumer or of a gas 13

consumer and an electric utility or gas utility 14

for access to the retail electric energy informa-15

tion or retail natural gas information of such 16

electric consumer or gas consumer, including 17

that— 18

(i) due process be afforded to such 19

third-party by the applicable regulatory au-20

thority, including giving such third-party 21

an opportunity to rebut allegations of 22

wrongdoing by such third-party prior to 23

any enforcement action being taken by the 24

applicable regulatory authority; 25

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11 

•HR 5796 IH

(ii) the consumer’s online authentica-1

tion match that used by the applicable gas 2

utility or electric utility for the consumer- 3

facing website of such gas utility or electric 4

utility; and 5

(iii) such third-party may receive re-6

tail electric energy information and retail 7

natural gas information from an electric 8

utility or gas utility with consumer con-9

sent, except if otherwise prohibited by Fed-10

eral law or by a finding of a State court 11

or other State adjudicatory body. 12

(5) REVISIONS.—The Secretary shall periodi-13

cally review and, as necessary, revise the guidelines 14

issued under paragraph (1) to reflect changes in 15

technology, privacy needs, and the market for elec-16

tric energy and natural gas and related services. 17

(c) VERIFICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION.— 18

(1) IN GENERAL.—A State may submit to the 19

Secretary a description of the policies of the State 20

relating to electric consumer and gas consumer ac-21

cess to retail electric energy information and retail 22

natural gas information for certification by the Sec-23

retary that the policies meet the guidelines issued 24

under subsection (b). 25

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12 

•HR 5796 IH

(2) ASSISTANCE.—Subject to the availability of 1

amounts appropriated pursuant to paragraph (3), 2

the Secretary shall make amounts available to any 3

State that has policies described in paragraph (1) 4

that the Secretary certifies meet the guidelines 5

issued under subsection (b) to assist the State in im-6

plementing programs described in section 362(d)(17) 7

of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. 8

(3) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.— 9

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out 10

this subsection $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 11

2021 and 2022, to remain available until expended. 12

Æ 

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Picture Name From Date Type
Peter Welch D-VT 02/06/2020 Sponsor
Matt Cartwright D-PA 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Date Branch Action
02/06/2020 President Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.Action By: House of Representatives
02/06/2020 President Introduced in HouseAction By: House of Representatives
Summary
Congress - Bill Number Major Title
Branch Vote Date Yes No Not Voting
Wiki





Bill TEXT Points.
This Bill has been listed with the following Subjects from Texts:
Authorization
(3)Authorization of appropriationsThere is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 and 2022, to remain available until expended

Commerce
Cartwright) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and CommerceA BILLTo enhance consumer access to electric energy and natural gas information, to allow for the adoption of innovative products and services to help consumers manage their energy usage, and for other purposes

Congress


House of Representatives
House of Representatives 2020-02-06 text/xml EN Pursuant to Title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code, this file is not subject to copyright protection and is in the public domain


End Bill TEXT Points.
Date Bill Major Title
Committee Name
Subject Type