Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Xcel, SCANA and NSTAR tell their stories
    Sep 21, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Complying with the federal mandates for infrastructure protection, known as "NERC CIP," is not simple or easy, but the penalties for failure are high. Listen to a panel of utility executives intimately involved in their own audits reveal lessons learned.

    Comments: 1
  • Age-old dilemma for selling change
    Sep 20, 2011 | Phil Carson

    How does one sell the "smart grid" to consumers? A discussion ensues about carrots and sticks, the "semantics of deployment," whether electrons are a commodity and a good old-fashioned value proposition.

  • GridWeek conversations center around the consumer
    Hitting the tipping point in smart consumer engagement
    Sep 19, 2011 | Kate Rowland

    There is a clear tipping point for the spread of ideas, according to a new study by scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Who will reach it first: utilities engaged in positive consumer interaction and engagement, or malcontents spreading anti-smart meter information like wildfire over the Internet? 

    Comments: 2
  • Is there a connection between the two?
    Sep 19, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Smart appliances inch along as other issues remain unresolved: consumer interest, interoperability, dynamic pricing programs, functionality and  applications and, not incidentally, the role utilities will play. Should utilities play an active role or remain aloof?

  • CIO offers lessons learned from utility's March audit
    Sep 18, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Complying with NERC CIP requirements is one thing, passing the audit is another. A CIO who's been through the exercise provides practical advice on how utilities should approach an audit.

  • Have utilities, regulators, consumer advocates found common ground?
    Sep 15, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Utilities, regulators  and consumer advocates across the country have met in the past year to find common ground as a basis for forward progress. A new report identifies five major areas where these disparate groups can work together.

    Comments: 4
  • Governor vetoes multi-faceted bill
    Sep 14, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Illinois Governor Pat Quinn this week vetoed multi-faceted legislation favored by ComEd that would allow the utility to proceed with smart meters. The bill also would change how ComEd's rate cases are handled, leading the governor to cry foul. Here's a look at ComEd's side, with links to the bill and news accounts.

  • PPL's AMI system led to morphing CSR role
    Sep 13, 2011 | Phil Carson

    New technologies, providing new data sources, can drive business process change. At PPL Electric Utilities, which installed interval meters nearly a decade ago, customer service reps have been trained as "trusted energy advisors."

  • Public conversations reflect outreach, engagement
    Sep 12, 2011 | Phil Carson

    One aspect of BGE's customer-facing response to storm-related outages is worthy of notice. High-touch, individual responses to every public comment on BGE's blog site reflected a couple best practices that can transfer to less urgent occasions.

  • Don't underestimate effort, value of outside help
    Sep 11, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Complying with NERC CIP standards and documenting compliance can cost utilities time and money. The alternative, which could be fines and bad publicity, is less enticing. Read this column for lessons learned from a leading utility.