Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Outsider advises maintaining electro-mechanical isolation
    Jul 13, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Are personnel at today's electric utilities really equipped to deal with cyber security threats? Despite the rush to add sensors, controls and intelligence to the grid, wouldn't electro-mechanical isolation be more effective in achieving security? An information assurance expert from outside the industry, who works for a Department of Defense contractor, provides an atypical viewpoint.

    Comments: 2
  • Charm offensive or substantive conversation?
    Jul 12, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Listening to and talking with customers sounds simple. But what should utilities listen for and what should their messages be? One group today offered a uniform messaging platform that utilities can tweak for their own circumstances, proposed programs and particular stakeholders. The National Action Plan's "Communications Umbrella" was unveiled today in Washington, D.C.  Read this column on how to engage your customers and persuade them to accept your programs.

  • Industry insiders share their thoughts
    Jul 12, 2011 | Kate Rowland

    The electric utility of 2020 will be decidedly different than the electric utility of the past. The electric utility of today is evolving, and data and data analysis is becoming an increasingly important operational tool. Where is this heading? See what the experts have to say.

  • Pepco, Portland and Connecticut L & P offer insights
    Jul 11, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Engaging customers may be a linchpin to many utility challenges, from capital deferral to system efficiencies, including peak load reduction, to customer stickiness in deregulated markets. Three utilities share their philosophies and their programs, to illustrate lessons learned and best practices.

    Comments: 7
  • Colorado commission adopts smart policies
    Jul 08, 2011 | Phil Carson

    One silver lining to the SmartGridCity cloud: the Colorado Public Utility Commission has articulated its basic smart grid policy going forward, from its own basic tenets to a heads-up for regulated utilities and their responsibilities. Colorado's journey may well reflect an evolution in thinking among other commissions across the country.  

    Comments: 3
  • Meet the default rate of the future: critical peak rebate
    Jul 07, 2011 | Christopher Perdue

    By 2020 Energy Central's Christopher Perdue expects the default rate offered by the majority of electric utilities will be completely different from now, and expects the future of default pricing will be critical peak rebates or CPR.

  • Readers offer angles on California's approach
    Jul 07, 2011 | Phil Carson

    As California develops public policy regarding energy storage's role, several stakeholders have communicated their views to the California Energy Commission, which will report on options to Gov. Jerry Brown this fall. Utilties want flexibility, vendors encourage mandates. Our readers expressed their diverse views this week, illuminating the discussion.

    Comments: 2
  • California Energy Commission program manager describes work
    Jul 06, 2011 | Phil Carson

    The California Energy Commission is taking an approach to energy storage policy that includes early stakeholder participation and weighs applications, technology options and cost-effectiveness. Why should you care? Your state and your utility may well follow in the Golden State's footsteps.

    Comments: 9
  • Innovation amidst diversity on Colorado's Western Slope
    Jul 05, 2011 | Phil Carson

    A century-old rural co-op in Colorado has always looked after its primary duty to its members: drive out costs. But it has found the will and and the way to innovate on many fronts, drawing national attention. To find out who, what, why and where: read this column.

    Comments: 2
  • Engagement through empowerment, prior to smart meters?
    Jul 01, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Connecticut Light & Power is running pilot programs to test how best to engage and empower its customers, well in advance of a smart meter rollout. The utility is also holding back on smart meter deployment until relevant standards are determined. Learn how one savvy utility is approaching and finessing several of the power industry's leading issues. Read this column.