Insights from our Editorial Team

  • 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.

  • Panel offers innovations in three areas
    Sep 08, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Managing your assets is all about safety, reliability and money. For three innovations in how utilities are getting this job done, read this column.

  • U.S. market cooling, more rational
    Sep 07, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Is an "overheated" market in smart meters giving way to a cooler, more rational market? Next year may see a peak in smart meter deployments in the United States, after which the driver may be regulatory mandates, according to one analyst.

    Comments: 3
  • LeRoy Nosbaum returns to navigate Itron's future
    LeRoy Nosbaum
    Sep 06, 2011 | Kate Rowland

    Late last week, LeRoy Nosbaum retook the reins as president and CEO of Itron, Inc., upon Malcolm Unsworth's retirement. Yesterday, he spoke with Intelligent Utility magazine's Kate Rowland about why he returned from retirement, and the company's plans going forward.

  • Public should know grid is vulnerable
    Sep 06, 2011 | Phil Carson

    A devastating storm creates heroes and villains. Both groups, of course, work for local electric utilities. They're the same people; it just depends on whether your power has been restored or not. We can do better. 

  • Industry focus shifting to distribution automation?
    Sep 02, 2011 | Phil Carson

    An off-the-record conversation underscores the ongoing drivers for M&A among vendors. One is software, which is at the heart of the power industry's transformation.

  • Readers dispute assumptions, fear consequences
    Sep 01, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Utilities need to wring efficiencies from their systems and engaging the customer is one way to do it. Some say dynamic pricing that reflects the cost of producing electricity at, say, the peak of the day, will help. Others say "hooey"!

    Comments: 6
  • Competing notions of how to educate consumers
    Aug 31, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Concepts in the science of "user experience" and tangibly linking smart meter installations with value, such as a Web portal with energy use information, could connect utility to customer and vice versa. That's according to a software guru steeped in those ideas from another industry.

    Comments: 5