Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Utilities compete for analytics talent
    Feb 13, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Big Data is now Big News and consumers are getting hip to the uses and abuses of that data well before electric utilities have had a chance to communicate their own approach. In practical terms, utilities are behind the curve in recruiting for the data analytics practitioners much sought after by all enterprises.

  • Institutional mistrust and the rejection of science
    Feb 12, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Fringe elements on both the right and left ends of the political spectrum are demonizing and disrupting public discussion of sustainable practices, including grid modernization. The rhetoric is wacky, inaccurate and destructive to society and its will to move ahead. And it is pervasive.

    Comments: 16
  • Cobb EMC, OG&E and the Utility Analytics Institute explain the value path
    Feb 09, 2012 | Kate Rowland

    What is Big Data?  Mike Smith, vice president, marketing practices, for Energy Central's Utility Analytics Institute (UAI), says, "The reality is, in the world we live in beyond utilities, there's an incredible amount of digital data being created." For the utility world, Big Data also means big changes in the day-to-day operations, and in customer service.

  • Implementation: weak link in cyber security?
    Feb 09, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Chasing mandates on security compliance may be driven by aversion to fines. But that approach can lead to faulty security measures and, more importantly, impair your security stance. Listen in on a discussion of "how to think about security."

  • Utilities, vendors, enviros, consumer advocates weigh in
    Feb 08, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Implementing energy storage is fraught with complexities. While it has some clear-cut applications, some argue that alternatives for those applications are less costly. And implementing energy storage can have unintended consequences for the electricity market, possibly upending environmental goals. Should California establish procurement goals for  utilities, given the uncertainties?

    Comments: 6
  • California regulators hear from interested parties
    Feb 07, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Need a primer on energy storage issues? We offer a look at the issues faced by California regulators as they seek to articulate policy to answer the demands of legislation known as AB 2514. Today, the utility perspective. Tomorrow, other interested parties.

    Comments: 2
  • "Single version of the truth" sought for uniform results
    Feb 06, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Big Data calls for an IT architecture that can store, manage and extract value from data streams on a scale not seen by utilities until now. Central governance is favored over separate silos. And in-house expertise in determining the business questions that guide data mining will likely be sought. Two utilites describe their approach in this column.

    Comments: 1
  • Modest muni engages customers, technology and spirit
    Feb 05, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Let us now praise utilities that are using smart technology and customer participation to meet budgetary and technical constraints. Today we visit Colorado Springs Utilities at the base of Pikes Peak. 

    Comments: 2
  • PG&E opt-out option doesn't soothe anti-smart meter antagonists
    PG&E analog opt-out option decried
    Feb 02, 2012 | Kate Rowland

    As I have noted before, a critical piece of the intelligent utility is the intelligent consumer. In my opinion, the latter was sorely lacking in the public input portion of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Feb. 1 business meeting. As I watched the video coverage yesterday, I was struck nearly dumb by some of the continued public outrage against the CPUC's proposed decision on agenda item 28, the modification of Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E's) smart meter program.

    Comments: 8
  • Forum comments on the opt-out option
    Feb 02, 2012 | Phil Carson

    The California Public Utilities Commission has spoken on PG&E's opt-out program and, now, our readers have their say. Those objecting to paying for their opt-out option could cost fellow ratepayers about $50 million in the first year, if they have their way.