Commentary

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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."
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    Sep 05, 2006 | James Madsen
    The Federal Government, State Governments and U.S. Utility companies are sorting through the "Goliath" of Automated Meter Reading. AMR concepts have grown into AMI, AIM and now AMM. The Federal Energy bill provided motivation and generic requirements; "Manage Energy, give the consumer control over their usage and reduce overall costs of energy consumption and energy generation."
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    Aug 25, 2006 | Jill Bull
    A quick scan through the Internet's morning energy news reveals the difficulty that many electric utility companies have meeting peak load demands. Whether it's southern California's or New York City's heat wave, or St. Louis' thunderstorms, the power grid's fragility is apparent whenever demand peaks or when a small part of the system is damaged.
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    Aug 23, 2006 | David Saxby
    Utilities that want to improve their customer service can reach that goal by using a visualization technique that involves an archery target and successfully hitting not just the bull's-eye but also the rings around it. The bull's-eye is successful customer service and the rings represent skills, performance and accountability.
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    Aug 18, 2006 | Alberto Ramirez Orquin
    This century brings about new elements, which constantly modify well-established paradigms. A good example can be found on the notions of society's critical infrastructures. The electric grid has been increasingly regarded as very important, typically at the same hierarchy as communications, roadways, water supply, etc. But its emerging critical dimension has only recently been revealed.