Commentary

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    Oct 27, 2006 | Mike Smith
    Recently, a number of us at Energy Central were discussing the utility industry in broad, sweeping strokes when the discussion turned to information technology and automation. One of the participants asked, "So where's the utility industry's iPod?" Seemed like kind of a strange question at first, but ultimately, a pretty good one.
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    Oct 26, 2006 | Warren B. Causey
    Utilities in the U.S. and Canada, and elsewhere in the world, continue to build-out mobile capabilities as electric, natural gas and water companies work to integrate computing capabilities across their enterprise and into the field, where most of the work is done. In fact, the mobile market appear to be heating up as more utilities are looking to install systems and more vendors are bring new products to market.
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    Oct 23, 2006 | John Hanger
    There are no energy magic wands or magic bullets. No single policy or market development will reduce our reliance on burning fossil fuels to make electricity. The recipe for shifting from often foreign and polluting fossil fuels to domestic, clean renewable sources of energy includes multiple ingredients like portfolio laws, financial incentives, and net metering.
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    Oct 19, 2006 | Mike Gordon
    Last July thousands of people in Queens, New York were left in the dark as the mercury rose. Hospitals were challenged and seniors and young children suffered in the grip of health threatening heat. Businesses had to shut down showing an exodus that exposed our vulnerability to a new and mysterious force in our lives - the electricity power grid.
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    Oct 16, 2006 | Martin Flusberg
    For years, pundits have proclaimed that widespread adoption of online bill payment was just around the corner. That corner has always seemed pretty far away. Finally, the reality appears to be catching up with the rhetoric. According to CheckFree, 69 percent of US households report that they pay at least one bill online.
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    Oct 11, 2006 | David Saxby
    How does a utility that sells such non-traditional services as Internet access and cable TV know if a customer is about to leave for the competition? It may not and it's the silent escapees that are so damaging to business.
  • Sep 27, 2006 | Shelley MacLeod
    Who defines how software modules integrate for utilities - the utility or the software supplier? Selecting software in the utility marketplace frequently appears to be driven by the vendor's choice of modular software development practices, not the needs or desires of their customers.
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    Sep 22, 2006 | Prakash Chakravarthi
    There is a tremendous activity taking place in the utility industry with respect to AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) deployments. Many large investor-owned utilities have released request for proposals for advanced technologies.
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    Sep 11, 2006 | Garin Toren
    A revolution is stirring in the electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) industry with a concerted shift towards a model that "pushes" the bill to the customer. Requirements for greater user adoption are driving the move from "Pull" to "Push" in the form of an encrypted email.
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    Sep 06, 2006 | Stephen Heins
    I believe that global energy efficiency is the bridge between economic development and the environment. This is especially true when trying to discern the shape of the energy, environmental and economic future. The European Union seems to agree. In December 2005, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union issued an Energy Efficiency Directive "on energy end-use efficiency and energy services."