GISB Gathering Narrows Issues on Retail Standards
The public meeting held by the Gas Industry Standards Board
(GISB) last week to determine whether it should develop standards
for retail gas and power, as well as wholesale power, was short on
solutions but big on questions.
A key question was whether GISB should be the organization to
develop such standards. "Some believe they [Edison Electric
Institute] should do it. This will be a big issue if we decide to
move forward" with the retail standards, said David Pfeifer, a
former member of GISB's executive committee who was at the meeting
in Washington D.C.
At the same time, GISB "was very favorably positioned [to set
the standards] because of its proven track record," noted Pfeifer,
who is senior manager of the energy group for Akili, a consulting
Another central issue was the type of standards to be developed.
Based on "my impression from the questions asked and the comments
made.....I don't think there was opposition to the standards
themselves. No one came out and actually said 'we don't need the
standards.' But the general consensus was what do we mean by
standards," he said. Should they focus on electronic commerce,
business processing or transactions?
"The question again is in the details - how, who, what and
when." If GISB is selected to develop the standards, will it then
become the EISB for the Energy Industry Standards Board, he asked.
GISB, whose principal focus has been on setting standards for
wholesale gas, will undergo a "big cultural change" if it's picked
to do power standards as well. This would require a change in its
certificate and bylaws, not to mention a bigger budget.
A GISB task force will deliver a report to the board of
directors at a March 2 meeting that will "determine whether GISB
needs to be involved in this and, if so, how," said Rae McQuade,
executive director of the group.
The Coalition for Uniform Business Rules, a group of mostly
energy marketers, called on GISB last year to develop and maintain
retail gas/electric standards. GISB expanded the scope of the
coalition's request to include standards for the wholesale power
market as well. Susan Parker
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