Insights from our Editorial Team
If "customer" implies choice, there's a ways to go
Playing nice when you need something doesn't build trust or turn "ratepayers" into "customers." Choices and the empowerment to make them are the basis for the new utility-customer relationship. Otherwise, the change in terminology is without merit.
No one-size-fits-all solution here
Just as we all have different-sized feet, utilities of different sizes and different geographic issues need different network communications solutions to fit individual needs. For a long time, the debate - and it was a debate - between the use of WiFi or broadband and public or private communications networks seemed to be more about trying to find a one-size-fits-all solution, rather than a variety of solution, rather than a variety of solutions (sometimes used within the same utility) in which everyone wins.
Now, not so much.
Two takes on last week's "Five Grid Issues"
Are fossil fuel emissions really a bad thing or much ado about nothing? Are smarter grids more resilient or is that just industry hooey? Is our columnist a "zealot" or just another misinformed stooge? Two readers take different tacks.
Power retailing is a rough-and-tumble business
A new report on best practices in data analytics reveals how a Texas retailer prioritizes customer retention efforts and maximizes resources. These practices also help raise the bar for the overall customer experience. Internally, cross-functional teams help demolish silos.
Utility's smart meter learnings inspire new approach
PG&E is applying hard-won lessons in customer engagement to ensure that small- and medium-sized business customers are prepared for state-mandated dynamic pricing progams taking effect this November. The utility used interval meter data to identify which customers would be adversely affected and ensured they had full information on the program and guidance on how to mitigate impacts.
Metering informs customers, operations, capital planning
Data analytics are improving the meter-to-cash cycle, reliability and storm preparedness at United Illuminating in Orange, Conn. A conversation with UI's managers reveals how and why.
What we should be talking about, now
Utilities are admirably going about the business of modernizing the grid, reaching out to customers and adapt their businesses to shifting paradigms. But five issues may present radical challenges and rarely get discussed. Buckle up.
Whether discussing the old coined phrase “smart grid” or the newly minted hot topic “IT/OT integration,” the meaning is still the same: The nuances of the power grid need to be a bit brainier. Thought leadership sponsored by Intel.
Real-world applications and best practices
Utilities are beginning to use data analytics in new ways to support business goals and customer service. Our data expert shares insights into best practices from a new report on North American utilities. And two utilities describe the shortest path from the starting line to value.
IEEE, others, back principles for standards development
There's a formal process for ratifying international standards, and then there are market-driven, de facto standards, which can be just as influential - if proper principles are followed. That's an argument being made by groups such as the IEEE, the Internet Architecture Board, the Internet Engineering Task Force and others.