Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Utilities cut costs, improve customer service
    Mar 15, 2012 | Mike Smith

    Utilities are using customer analytics to improve internal operations such as call centers, credit and collection practices and demand response programs, as well as to engage customers and increase participation in a variety of programs.

  • Define desired outcomes first, then map the road
    Mar 14, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Analytics promise to wring value from a firehose of data, but how you go about it could lead to success or failure. Roll up your sleeves and do the hard work up-front, advises one practitioner. The rewards and risks are too great to do otherwise.

  • New survey cites multiple drivers for consumer behavior
    Mar 13, 2012 | Phil Carson

    As utilities seek to engage their customers and drive participation in various programs, surveys reveal that customers have multiple motivations. That finding dispels the power industry's persistent  notion that cost alone is the main driver. For more insights, read this column.  

    Comments: 4
  • Window opens in two to four years, claims vendor
    Mar 12, 2012 | Phil Carson

    The word "breakthrough" gets bandied about with alarming regularity. Anyone who performs science or covers it should know better than to use that phrase.

    Comments: 2
  • GridWise Alliance heralds successes but calls for change
    Mar 11, 2012 | Phil Carson

    The GridWise Alliance seeks to assess the benefits of grid modernization and inject urgency into the process by which modernization gets done. 

  • CenterPoint Energy and PECO describe their approaches to grid optimization
    Mar 08, 2012 | Kate Rowland

    While the mainstream media continues to focus on concerns about data privacy, leading utilities are focusing on using the new data smart meters are providing to increase reliability, lower operational costs, and much more. Here's what CenterPoint Energy and PECO are doing with the new data.

  • Readers challenge our coverage, and each other
    Mar 08, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Changing utility customer behavior runs up against "What's in it for me?" Is the military wise to seek energy self-sufficiency, to save lives and money? And whither storage in California? Our readers have their say.

  • IEEE outreach might expand your thinking
    Mar 07, 2012 | Phil Carson

    The power industry has struggled to attract new talent because the pipeline of engineering students has dwindled and the industry itself has a reputation for stodginess. Given the convergence of IT, telecom, power and their transformative effects on society, however, it should be a hip field. So one man is going fishing where the fish are.

    Comments: 7
  • Opening salvo in Boulder's municipalization effort?
    Mar 06, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Boulder is exploring the formation of a municipal utility. Xcel is trying to scare its citizens and has asked for regulatory support to cut off Boulder from energy efficiency and solar incentives. Battle lines are being drawn.

    Comments: 3
  • Xcel: we've proven value, deserve cost recovery
    Mar 05, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Colorado regulators have established a handful of hurdles to full cost recovery by Xcel Energy for SmartGridCity. Xcel argues that it has cleared those hurdles and deserves to collect another $16.6 million, on top of $27.9 million already recovered, for a project involving triple cost overruns. Hearings have been set.

    Comments: 1