Commentary

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    Sep 02, 2003 | Dennis Smith
    The bill is the most common communication tool with customers. In fact, for many customers, the bill is the only link to their utility. These are the customers who pay on time and never call except when there is an outage or some other emergency; they are the mass market customers who cost the utility the least.
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    Aug 29, 2003 | Peter Manos
    Faced with regulatory and economic uncertainties, utilities have fallen into two camps—those that have taken a “wait and see” approach and those that have taken an “act as if” approach. The latter strategy, simply put, involves the utility putting systems in place now that will enable it to meet future regulatory, economic or other conditions, even though those conditions may not yet be present.
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    Aug 27, 2003 | Andrew Weissman
    As President Bush and others have commented, last week's Black-Out provides a fairly stark wake up call, reminding us how essential reliable electricity supply is to the functioning of our economy and revealing how vulnerable the Grid is to large-scale failures. It is important, therefore, that we not be afraid to ask tough questions regarding what occurred and the actions required to prevent such failures from occurring again in the future.
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    Aug 26, 2003 | Dennis Smith
    With the much ballyhooed failures of energy industry restructuring, i.e. California, Enron, etc., some have declared customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives in the utility industry dead. That may be true in some cases, but it all comes down to how one defines CRM.
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    Aug 20, 2003 | Tim Huneycutt
    The vast majority of energy management activities are based on the financial impact they will have on the company. Today’s rapidly evolving energy markets are forcing enterprises to consider new ways to centrally manage the energy portfolio of the company.
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    Aug 20, 2003 | Charles Cutsforth
    None of us has to be reminded of the emphasis being placed on securing energy control system networks. Best practices from the IT world are finding their way into the increasingly far-flung networks that manage energy infrastructure. However, dial-up connections have historically been the “Elephant in the Room”, the threat that no one wants to talk about.
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    Aug 18, 2003 | Dennis Smith
    A slow moving economy and industry upheaval have created a tough market for utility industry customer information systems vendors in recent years, but leading players have managed to survive and even move forward.
  • Aug 14, 2003 | Richard Baxter
    Energy storage technologies are emerging as promising solutions to many of the most intractable transmission and distribution issues today. As the electrical industry gears up to power the US economy out of recession, many of the volatility and uncertainty issues facing the electricity market will reemerge—making leaders in the field aware that the industry lacks something that other commodity markets have: the flexibility, security, and reliability provided by storage.
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    Aug 12, 2003 | Cameron Burns
    Last year, an English computer enthusiast who uses the online alias Trubador pulled his PC apart, removed the fans, attached a bundle of coins to the top of the Athlon XP1500+ chip (to act as a heatsink), and turned the machine on.
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    Aug 08, 2003 | Scott Rouse
    The marketplace is quick to adapt, and astute customers are searching out best practices to increase their competitive advantage in a market that is becoming increasingly deregulated. In many jurisdictions where markets have opened, energy prices are changing so rapidly that traditional energy management practices are no longer adequate.