The Gas Industry Standards board (GISB) has offered up a plan for a combined natural gas and electric industry standards board for discussion among GISB’s own members and electric industry representatives.

The new standards-setting organization would have equal committee and board representation from the gas and electric industries and would be directed at setting voluntary standards for the electronic exchange of information, record and data formats, communication protocols and related business practices that would streamline the transactional processes of both the electric and natural gas businesses, including retail and wholesale.

The GISB Board of Directors voted at the group’s Sixth Annual meeting in San Antonio, TX last week to set the strawman proposal as a framework for discussion. “The fact that only one board member voted in opposition indicates the board is very interested in seeing how the industry reacts to this document,” said GISB Executive Director Rae McQuade. The task force, which includes some board members, will be scheduling a conference call next week to decide how to take it to the industry. The strawman proposal is posted on the website

The proposal is the product of a task force put to work on a request by the Coalition for Uniform Business Rules (CUBR) for GISB to consider initiating a collaborative process in which all market segments would band together to form a gas and electric energy standards board. (see NGI, May 1) The suggestion was based on GISB’s groundbreaking experience in developing transaction standards for the new natural gas market, and on the convergence of the two industries.

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