Commentary

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    Jan 21, 2008 | Mark Gabriel
    The implementation of distribution and substation automation, outage management, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and various other technologies are all leading to a digitally enabled, self-healing power network that provides equitably priced electricity to all classes of customers through ensuring the security, quality, reliability and availability of power.
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    Jan 17, 2008 | Troy Critchelow
    Part I of this two-part article will review the evolution of credit card payments up to and through the adoption of the recent online payment model. For nearly a quarter of a century, U.S. consumers have enrolled in Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) debit programs to make automatic, recurring payments on their loans, insurance policies, utility and telecommunications bills, and to pay for other goods and services.
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    Jan 16, 2008 | Tam Hunt
    Some say governments move too slowly and that bureaucracies can impede progress. But in October the Santa Barbara City Council and staff bucked the stereotype and moved to approve a potentially momentous change in the building code. With broad support from developers, architects, contractors, and the environmental community, the City increased the energy efficiency standards for all new construction.
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    Jan 15, 2008 | Thomas Casten
    Two recent energy stories were cheered by environmentalists and booed by the Wall Street Journal. Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless efforts to warn about climate change. American Electric Power was fined $4.6 billion for modifying old coal-fired power plants.
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    Jan 11, 2008 | Ken Silverstein
    When CenterPoint Energy invested in energy efficiency, it chose a technology with a standard communication feature to allow its meters to talk with any programmable household device. CenterPoint is working with the Zigbee Alliance and other stakeholders to create the standard for wireless communication between utility companies and common household features.
  • Jan 10, 2008 | Frank Hoogendoorn
    The analogy was excellent. I was at a conference listening to Gary Hoover, of Hoover Online fame, draw a parallel between tsunamis and business trends. Tsunamis may seem like sudden events that appear without warning; but they are actually the result of plate tectonic activities that have taken place, days, weeks and even months beforehand.
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    Jan 09, 2008 | Bob Nicholas
    Talk about environmental and energy footprints, well here's a giant. I recently retired from Snohomish PUD in Everett, Washington. Before I left the utility, I played a key role in managing their programs portfolio and integrated resource planning (IRP) for energy efficiency, demand response and retail green power offerings.
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    Jan 08, 2008 | Alexandra Behringer
    As national and global attention focuses on ways to reduce greenhouse emissions and save energy, many utilities are launching or expanding compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) programs for residential customers. Utilities in the U.S. often work with manufacturers and retailers to promote CFLs in conjunction with the national Energy Star "Change a Light, Change the World" campaign, which takes place each October through December.
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    Jan 07, 2008 | Martin Rosenberg
    Imagine no electricity existed in the United States. Suddenly, a lab discovers the utility of coursing electrons, and the age of electricity is launched. Assume we immediately learned everything we now know about how to generate electricity using the sun, wind, nuclear power, hydropower, natural gas, geothermal resources and coal.
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    Jan 04, 2008 | Ken Silverstein
    Dozens of cities and school districts are getting good marks for implementing hybrid buses that run on both diesel and electricity. In doing so, they are helping to commercialize a technology that proponents say will save fuel costs and prevent the release of harmful emissions.