Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Military 'gets it,' has the will and dollars to implement
    Jun 14, 2011 | Phil Carson

    The U.S. military is moving ahead with many smart grid-related innovations because lives and national security are at stake. Multiple sources say that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is ideally situated to provide the test bed for commercialization of new technologies. So why do those claiming to support our military call for abolishing the National Renewable Energy Lab, which partners closely with the DoD?

  • Consumer advocate takes opposite tack at KEMA conference
    Jun 13, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Building consensus among utility stakeholders sounds great on paper, but a recent panel with a commercial/industrial proponent, a consumer advocate and a state legislator charged with balancing those and other interests reflected the distance between competing interests. For a sense of the great divide among stakeholders, read this column.

    Comments: 1
  • Digital age ushers in rising expectations, say panelists
    Jun 10, 2011 | Phil Carson

    What drives the so-called "prosumer"? And what will motivate commercial building owners' to invest in energy efficiency? They may be related motivations, according to a panel this week at a KEMA conference in Denver.

    Comments: 1
  • Expects to spend $2,500 per customer
    Jun 09, 2011 | Christopher Perdue

    Earlier this week San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) filed its Smart Grid Deployment Plan (2011-2020) with the California Public Utilities Commission.  This article focuses on the projected costs of the company's smart grid investments, an issue every utility must address.

  • Top thinkers highlight challenges and visions at KEMA conference
    Jun 09, 2011 | Phil Carson

    The "future grid" can be glimpsed in practices already in place today, as evidenced by the University of California San Diego's campus-wide microgrid and other examples. At a KEMA conference this week in Denver, top industry thinkers shared facts, insights and thoughts on how trends will shape the future and how the limits of visibility obscure the distant horizon. The first of two parts.

    Comments: 1
  • Reviving cell phone hazards may go viral
    Jun 08, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Two unrelated news events call for attention, in that they are likely to reverberate in the utility world. The World Health Organization just concluded that cell phones are "possibly carcinogenic." And Xcel Energy has offered to make Boulder, Colo., the "most green" city in the world by 2020. Both events are likely to spark debates; the first about smart meter opt-out policies, the second about the biggest carrot that a city is likely ever to see.

    Comments: 2
  • Utility files its smart grid deployment plan to 2020 with CPUC
    Kate Rowland, editor-in-chief, Intelligent Utility magazine
    Jun 07, 2011 | Kate Rowland

    Yesterday, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) filed its Smart Grid Deployment Plan (2011-2020) with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). It's by no means light reading -- the application and supporting documents total 407 pages -- but its scope provides an excellent planning document for other electric utilities road mapping their own smart grid deployments. Kate Rowland looks at what this means for demand response and energy efficiency opportunities within the utility in the next decade.

    Comments: 2
  • Consumer counsel opposes maneuver to escape PUC's cap
    Jun 07, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Xcel Energy continues to argue for greater cost recovery for SmartGridCity in Boulder, Colo., in motions filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, despite repeated rulings by regulators. Colorado's Office of Consumer Counsel has objected, arguing that Xcel has exhausted its procedural options and reminding regulators of their "hard" cost cap in this case.   

  • TVA's new 'demand charge' calls for 'solution on a shoestring'
    Jun 06, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Nashville Electric Service has begun paying a demand charge for the aggregate peak demand of its residential customers after a change in policy by its supplier, the Tennessee Valley Authority. To ensure stable rates to those customers and maintain financial stability, Nashville Electric is implementing voltage conservation measures. Read this column to discover how this solution answers Nashville's challenge.   

    Comments: 7
  • Oncor, CenterPoint echo lessons learned from implementation
    Jun 03, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Three major utilities share lessons learned in the deployment of meter data management systems. Baltimore Gas & Electric, Oncor Electric Delivery and CenterPoint Energy shared insights into managing million-plus interval meter deployments and the impacts across systems and business processes during a one-hour webcast yesterday. We provide a synopsis and links to the webcast replay and slide deck.