Commentary

  • Jan 09, 2004 | Karen Kirkpatrick
    Sometime in 2001, PacifiCorp resource planners began detecting a noticeable upsurge in peak energy demand along the Wasatch Front, an 80-mile stretch of Utah Power territory that is home to 80% of the state's population. At about two-and-a-half times the annual growth in that market, the peak energy demand was surging ahead of the average system growth.
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    Jan 06, 2004 | Dirk Sagasser
    The insulation of equipment in electric power systems is designed to withstand temporary overvoltages without any damage. However, dangerous overvoltages for such equipment like transformers, cables or electrical machines can be caused by lightning strokes and switching action.
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    Dec 18, 2003 | Peggy Richmond
    Filling up the car's gas tank before you can get moving is a pretty simple concept for most drivers. Now, apply that concept to electricity purchases and you've got a different kind of metering solution with many attractive benefits for both utilities and consumers.
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    Dec 17, 2003 | Gary Clouser
    Path 15 in California's Silicon Valley has long been infamous as a major bottleneck for electricity transmission linking north and south California. Path 15 is an 83-mile transmission line in the Central Valley. Congestion on that line has been blamed for blackouts and has been the focal point of allegations of market manipulation. Now, finally something is being done.
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    Dec 16, 2003 | Patti Harper-Slaboszewicz
    Utilities have a choice of automation options when it comes to residential meter reading systems. For residential marketing, a utility gains reliable readings on a monthly or daily basis when it selects a basic AMR system. For a utility interested primarily in reducing meter reading costs, eliminating estimated bills and the high bills complaints spawned by those bill estimates, basic AMR will provide those benefits. Utilities may also gain read accuracy and a longer capital equipment lifespan from the new or refurbished meters in the field.
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    Dec 15, 2003 | Harry Debes
    Last month, Harry Debes became president and CEO of leading CIS vendor SPL WorldGroup. Energy Central spoke to him recently about the road ahead for utilities, their customers, and CIS.
  • Dec 09, 2003 | Karen Kirkpatrick
    It's a long road from paper mapping to GIS to automated outage management, but that's where the industry is heading. Geographic information systems (GIS) is essential for accurate mapping and quick updating of the infrastructure, which serves as the foundation for quick outage management response times. The next step is integrating the GIS with the customer information system (CIS) to bring greater efficiencies to both sides of the business.
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    Dec 09, 2003 | Paul Grey
    It is widely acknowledged that the browser user interface (BUI) is established as the gold standard of utility CIS (customer information system) architecture. The days of green screen character interfaces and thick-client graphical user interface (GUI) applications are fading rapidly, superseded by the undeniable strengths of browser technology.
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    Dec 08, 2003 | Denny Sauer
    Vendor-supported software packages have taken over the utility customer care and billing arena. The reason is cost. Vendor packages give you a lot more functions for a lot less money than you'd pay to build them in-house.
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    Dec 04, 2003 | Sharon Allan
    Perhaps you've picked up a utility industry magazine lately and have seen the term 'mesh network' mentioned. You might be wondering why companies are announcing new networks when many different types of networks are already available. If you happen to own a network that doesn't live up to the expectations laid out in your business case, you might wonder if a mesh network is really a marketing ploy to describe in a new manner the 'mush - My Under-performing System Headache' you already have.