Insights from our Editorial Team
Rates, stakeholders, staffing, customer experience
Representatives from three utilities preparing for electric vehicle adoption in San Diego, Detroit and Houston discuss the impacts to their organizations, in follow-up coverage to our popular Intelligent Utility Reality webcast from earlier this month. They focus on rate design, stakeholder outreach and supporting the customer experience.
Privatization trumped by security needs
Initially, the Department of Defense sought to privatize its power utility operations, until it discovered that the market wasn't that interested and that the commercial power sector could not guarantee uninterruptible power. That led the military to embrace microgrids, as the commercial sector began chasing smart grids.
We civilians need more urgency, less dithering
An op-ed piece in The New York Times yesterday reflected the urgency with which the military has adopted various elements of a smarter grid, including energy efficiency, microgrids and renewables. Our columnist suggests that civilians State-side take a page and put some urgency into their role as well.
Tech-savvy crowd seems intrigued
Christopher Perdue looks at the energy industry's presence at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.
Blogger says meter is 'irrelevant'
We examine a blogger's complaint that his smart meter is "irrelevant" and his bills too high, admittedly due to central air conditioning and a love for his flat-screen TV.
Xcel shareholders pay, too, unless benefits proven
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission ruled that Xcel Energy's shareholders must pay a portion of the costs for SmartGridCity in Boulder, unless the utility can prove tangible benefits to its 1.4 million ratepayers in the state. The decision marks a victory for consumers and for intervenors in the case, but it revealed a flawed process for project oversight and cost recovery. Finally, the focus may shift to the project itself and whether its value propositions are validated.
Consumer electronics, auto shows present challenges
News from the Consumer Electronics Show last week and the Detroit Auto Show this week demonstrates that electric utilities may be permanently behind the curve in catching consumers' attention. As utilities dither over the effort to engage consumers, purveyors of shiny gadgets hold the key to consumer desire and interest, our columnist argues.
Smackdown, or merely a matter of choice?
In the same way that one smart grid does not fit the needs of all utilities, neither can one communications network do the job for all. There has been a lot of buzz around Wi-Fi and WiMAX. Some say it's akin to comparing apples to oranges, and I would have to agree. It all comes down to the business case for each utility, and what type of telecommunications protocol-direct client connections over fiber or wire, or wireless mesh networking (and if wireless, what type) best suits the utility's distinct needs.
Red herrings and conventional wisdom get called out
Readers debate "the real issue" involving smart meters in California as well as the merits of compressed air energy storage. The conversation continues where a handful of recent Intelligent Utility Daily columns left off.
Insights from San Diego, Detroit and Houston
An Intelligent Utility Reality webcast, "Electric Vehicles: A Tale of Three Cities," provided insights into EV adoption, distribution system impacts and charging stations in San Diego, Detroit and Houston. If you missed the webcast, here's a synopsis and a chance to replay the webcast.