Insights from our Editorial Team

  • KEMA and industry group opt for centrism
    May 02, 2012 | Phil Carson

    How to pitch continued federal support for energy storage research and demonstration projects? One group is making an appeal to policymakers' patriotism and election year dedication to national security and energy independence. The argument is well-honed, if familiar. How will it play?

    Comments: 3
  • After nearly a decade, situational awareness still not adequate
    May 01, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Last September's blackout in Arizona and Southern California robbed 2.7 million people of power. Synchrophasors and situational awareness might have limited the extent of the blackout. Ongoing work in the Western Interconnection is set for completion next spring, when we'll begin to learn if synchrophasors live up to their promise.

    Comments: 2
  • But will utilities listen if customers talk?
    Apr 30, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Customer survey after customer survey confirms that utility customers are there for the claiming, but will utilities move in time before the modern, digitally savvy customer is claimed by others? Fighting for ownership of the customer is not as effective as persuading the customer with thoughtful options and service offerings.

    Comments: 1
  • 'New' ideas and their upshots for utilities, explained
    Apr 29, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Advancements by utilities, documented in these pages, raise bigger questions than the tactical applications they're designed to address. From energy storage to energy advisors, from microgrids to customers, nothing utilities do occurs in a vacuum. Even regulated monopolies face competition, directly or indirectly, from ideas to rivals for  their customers' attention.

    Comments: 4
  • FERC's Wellinghoff discusses, and Minnesota co-op announces big project
    Attaching value to demand response and demand-side management
    Apr 26, 2012 | Kate Rowland

    Two different conversations today -- one held by FERC Chairman John Wellinghoff, and another led by Minnesota-based cooperative Great River Energy -- coalesced to point to the increasing importance of demand response and demand-side management to electric utilities in today's environment.

    Comments: 1
  • Readers keep us honest on bold assertions
    Apr 26, 2012 | Phil Carson

    We slung around a few "big bold new ideas" this week and then huddled behind sand bags as "incoming" whistled over our heads. Thanks, dear readers, and enjoy this slice of your fellow readers' reactions.

    Comments: 1
  • SMUD study promises answers to today's questions
    Apr 25, 2012 | Phil Carson

    If given real-time energy use data, customers will save energy. Different types of information may lead to different behaviors. Depending on your utility's needs and strategy, you may find this SMUD study valuable. While it answers some questions, others remain to be resolved.

    Comments: 1
  • Boulder effort moves forward, as do others
    Apr 24, 2012 | Phil Carson

    The upcoming battle between Boulder, Colo. and its incumbent service provider, Xcel Energy, has all the ingredients for a big screen thriller, except the white hats and black hats. Boulder wants control of its destiny, Xcel wants to protect its business. The two sides are inching towards conflict.

    Comments: 2
  • Recent coverage of 'big ideas' in this space
    Apr 23, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Danger! The power industry is awash in big  ideas and bold new thinking. We've featured a half-dozen or more big ideas in the past week. Have you considered them? Discussed them with colleagues? Or should the industry simply build more coal-fired power plants to ride into the future?

    Comments: 9
  • Researcher says focus on in-home devices is misplaced
    Apr 22, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Customers' energy data feedback can lead to behavioral changes, regardless of the device used to convey that data. Persistent behavioral changes, however, will require help from automated, programmable appliances in the home. One researcher had regulators' ears recently and delivered these and other research-based insights.

    Comments: 5