2009 UtiliQ rankings

TOP 25 INTELLIGENT UTILITIES

Published In: Intelligent Utility Magazine July/August 2009

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WELCOME TO THE INAUGURAL UTILIQ RANKING OF U.S. ELECTRIC utilities—a list of the top 25 intelligent utilities based on a detailed analysis by IDC Energy Insights and Intelligent Utility magazine. We developed this ranking in response to a number of issues and challenges in the rapidly evolving electric utility industry. First, we wanted to separate the smart grid hype from reality. As we have learned over the years, press releases alone do not make a company more intelligent. This magazine defines an intelligent utility as a company that applies information to energy, maximizing its reliability, affordability and sustainability from generation to end users. Becoming a more intelligent utility requires more than just technology investments; it requires a real investment in people and processes, too. Second, we wanted to provide a way for utilities to benchmark their intelligence and measure progress against their stated goals and objectives. We view the UtiliQ ranking as an ongoing effort that will evolve over time. For example, should we start to track the relationship between a company's rank on the list and its share price? We welcome your input. Please give us your ideas for improving the ranking at crichards@energycentral.com.

The current ranking is based on a company's performance using five quantifiable intelligence metrics:

  • Productivity: An intelligent utility is an efficient utility (measured by revenue per employee).
  • Renewable energy: An intelligent utility has a commitment to renewable energy as part of its resource portfolio (measured by renewable energy sales, renewable energy customers and renewable capacity).
  • Smart initiatives: An intelligent utility makes investments in developing smarter grids (measured by smart meter deployments and other smart grid projects).
  • Demand response/energy efficiency (DR/EE): An intelligent utility allows consumers to manage their energy usage and costs (measured by the availability of energy efficiency, demand response and load management programs).
  • IT investment: An intelligent utility invests in information technology to enable business process improvement (measured by IT spending as a percent of revenue and on a per-employee basis).

 

With the popularity of smart and intelligent themes, we couldn't resist providing the ranking in terms of a utility intelligence quotient (IQ). Taken together, the metrics are used to create a company's intelligence quotient. Companies with IQs over 120, in our analysis, exhibit very superior intelligence compared with other U.S. electric utilities. We believe that the few companies with IQs over 140 are at near genius level compared with the rest of industry.

LOOKING AHEAD

As the utility industry begins to move from the current energy economy, characterized by heavy reliance on fossil fuels, lack of energy security, high environmental impact, aging infrastructure and passive consumers, toward a new energy economy that includes increased use of renewable

energy resources, less reliance on foreign oil, lower environmental impact, a smarter grid and active consumers, we expect these top 25 companies to lead the transition. Companies that want to make the list or improve their position should focus on these strategies and investments:

Drive company cultural change Becoming a more intelligent utility has a lot to do with people. Your employees need to understand your company's vision, your strategy for getting there, why it's important to all major stakeholders—including customers and regulators—and what this all means to your employees on a day-to-day basis.

Improve processes for both :For example, does a work''lean'' and order have to be 100 pages long and require a dozen approvals? Can waste energy be captured and used to create value? Efficient processes drive down the cost of maintaining the current environment and free up resources for innovation and growth.

Make intelligent technology : Find ways to get the best return investments from your technology investments by ensuring that your spending on information, communications and energy technologies lines up with your enterprise change: strategies, enables process improvement, supports regulatory compliance and creates value for your customers.

UtilIQ RANKING BREAKDOWN

Company

Overall IQ

Productivity

Renewable Energy
Smart Initiatives

DR/EE

IT Investment
Sempra Energy
143
119
105
179
145
112
Austin Energy
141
118
110
179
150
135
Edison International
140
118
124
179
110
117
Oncor
139
117
100
179
130
119
PG&E Corporation
139
116
121
176
115
118
CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
137
130
100
176
110
118
FLG Group, Inc.
136
125
100
179
110
112
American Electric Power
135
115
110
179
103
118
Southern Company
133
114
100
176
108
118
Pepco Holdings, Inc.
132
146
100
179
100
122
Constellation Energy Group, Inc.
130
144
100
176
110
121
DTE Energy Company
130
121
100
176
100
118
IDACORP, Inc.
130
111
102
176
128
132
Xcel Energy, Inc.
128
123
165
103
114
123
Alliant Energy Corporation
126
116
110
176
115
112
National Grid USA
126
120
101
104
131
115
Northeast Utilities
126
122
100
151
128
118
PPL Corporation
126
117
100
179
105
119
Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.
125
121
100
176
120
106
Puget Energy, Inc.
125
128
110
100
150
134
Salt River Project
125
114
100
124
110
140
Bonneville Power Administration
124
126
100
102
125
119
Exelon corporation
124
122
108
125
110
118
Pinnacle West Capital Corporation
124
110
100
158
120
119
Portland General Electric Company
124
114
107
176
100
124

Ratings

90-109 Normal Intelligence

110-119 Superior Intelligence

120-140 Very Superior Intelligence

Over 140 Near Genius

Note: overall IQ is an average of the IQs for Productivity, renewable energy, smart initiatives, DR/EE and it investment. utilities participating in top knowledge centers, like gridwise alliance, (listed in the march/april issue) received a bump up in their overall IQ.

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