Intelligent Utility January / February 2012
In This Issue
  • Intelligent Utility  January / February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    In a city in which medieval cobblestone streets are the norm, and air and noise pollution a definite concern, a self-service electric car program, Autolib', was launched in early December. It is hoped this program will be as popular as the city's bike-rental program has been. There are 250 four-seat compact Bluecars now available for rental, and the program is expected to grow to 2,000 vehicles...
  • Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    In December, the Victorian Government in Australia completed its comprehensive review of its electric utilities' smart meter program. The consensus: With more than 900,000 meters already installed across Victoria, many of the economic benefits of moving from a manual to an automated metering system can only be delivered if smart meter technology is installed at all properties across the state....
  • Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    Analyst firm Berg Insight, based in Sweden, says that the worldwide installed base of smart electricity meters will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26.6 percent between 2010 and 2016 to reach 602.7 million. It projects that penetration rates for smart metering technology will increase from around 15 to 25 percent today to around 50 percent in Europe and North America, and to more than 75...
  • OGE and Pepco are data mining for success
    Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    FROM PILOT PROJECTS TO DYNAMIC PRICING products, U.S. electric utilities are taking a clearer, more microscopic look at the needs of their customers, segment by segment, before launching.As one utility insider recently quipped, the focus has turned from "what's good for the utility is good for the customer" to "what's good for the customer is good for the utility."New data, and the ability to...
  • Intelligent Utility KITE and UtiliQ Awards
    Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    KNOWLEDGE, INNOVATION, TECHNOLOGY AND EXCELLENCE: These are the characteristics that set leaders apart from the pack. During the Knowledge2011 Intelligent Utility Executive Summit, executives from IT, customer service and operations were recognized-leaders who have moved their companies forward through strategic initiatives, measurable technology efforts, and innovative solutions that have met...
  • Utility executives, and a few consultants, share their experiences
    Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    OVER THE COURSE OF THE PAST YEAR, ELECTRIC UTILITIES have been immersed in customer communication and learning the ropes of what works for them (and for their customers), and what doesn't. In Intelligent Utility magazine, and in Intelligent Utility Daily, we've shared their thoughts and experiences, as well as those of industry consultants and analysts.As we all realize, there is no one-size-fits...
  • Knowledge Executive Summit 2011 delegates share experiences
    Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    THE SIXTH ANNUAL KNOWLEDGE EXECUTIVE SUMMIT FOUND us on Amelia Island, just outside of Jacksonville, Florida. Recognized as one of the utility industry's most valuable and prestigious forums for chief information officers, the summit last year expanded its scope to include other mission-critical utility executives in customer service and operations.With mounting political and environmental...
  • Twitter, Facebook, company blogs — utilities are using new tools
    Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    WHILE THE MOST OBVIOUS USE CASE FOR social media in the utility industry is during power outages or other events that affect customer service, many electric utilities are finding other positive uses for social media, too.Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn are finding their way into savvy utilities' communications toolboxes, and being used to positive effect in building new and better customer...
  • Avista used rate hike protest to roll out social media campaign
    Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    UTILITIES ARE ACCUSTOMED TO RECEIVING negative feedback when it comes to rate increases, power outages and what is sometimes perceived as lackluster customer service. It's a fact of life that utilities live with, and one that isn't likely to change.What is changing is the way that utilities are dealing with customer complaints and concerns. Utilities are flocking to social media avenues like...
  • Nashville Electric Service turns to Facebook, Twitter
    Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    IN MAY OF 2010, POWERFUL THUNDERSTORMS dumped more than 13 inches of rain on Nashville over a span of 48 hours. When the Cumberland River, which runs through downtown Nashville, crested at 12 feet above normal levels, flood waters ravaged the city and its surrounding suburbs.Many residents in Tennessee were left without power, including 42,000 in Nashville, the service area covered by Nashville...
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  • Customer Segmentation
    Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    AS ELECTRIC UTILITIES IDENTIFY THE BEST ways in which to engage residential customers with tailored smart grid products and services, customer segmentation efforts are being re-examined and refined.An Accenture global study released in mid-2011, "Revealing the Values of the New Energy Consumer," noted: "As more consumers gain access to smart in-home technologies, utilities have the opportunity to...
  • Utilities are preparing to unleash smart grid data
    Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    THE UTILITY INDUSTRY IS FORGING AHEAD WITH THE NEXT evolution of analytics. This new wave of analytics initiatives is about more than having a database, extracting data and analyzing historical trends. Analytics initiatives today are moving closer to real-time data and analysis, all while dealing with increasingly complex data feeds and information demands.To better understand this emerging and...
  • Handling disparate data effectively for analytics
    Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    IN "LESSONS LEARNED: HOW UTILITIES LEVERAGE DATA," an Intelligent Utility Reality Webcast held in mid-December, panelists discussed the ways in which their utilities were leveraging and analyzing the data available through meter data management, outage management, distribution management systems and more.Paul Dick, director of enterprise information management for OGE Energy Corp., explained OGE'...
  • Connecting 24/7
    Intelligent Utility January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    BY NOW, EVEN THOSE OF US WITHOUT mobile devices have heard the familiar phrase, "Is there an app for that?"People on the move-and that's most of the U.S. population-want information quickly, at the touch of a button. "Land lines" for telephones are quickly becoming antiquities, as personal mobile devices such as iPhones, BlackBerries, tablets and more mean consumers can talk to friends, access...
  • If non-regulated providers can profit from information services, why can’t utilities?
    Intelligent Utility  January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    WHILE NOT MOVING AS FAST AS SOME MAY LIKE, THE SMART grid is becoming a reality. There is a proliferation of new meters. A number of utilities are considering or have begun filing for more creative rate structures, i.e., dynamic pricing.However, even with all of the changes, the basic paradigm of the regulatory compact remains essentially unchanged. That paradigm is one that by design exposes...
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  • Accelerating business value from the intelligent utility
    Intelligent Utility  January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    LOOKING BACK, IT IS EASY TO SEE HOW NEW TECHNOLOGY can smoothly enter and sweep an industry, bringing technical and business improvements beyond expectations. Yet, viewed from the inside as a participant in the technology implementation process, the experience is typically anything but smooth.What are the consequences of most implementation struggles? First and foremost is the delay in getting...
  • Retailers push meters to expand product options
    Intelligent Utility  January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    THE NOTION THAT TECHNOLOGY SHOULD SERVE A BUSINESS case, not the other way around, has become axiomatic in the grid modernization industry. As it should be. The role of education in serving-or hindering-a business case is not far behind.So it was interesting to hear details recently on a conference call held to discuss a report on progress in competitive retail electricity markets. The report, "...
  • Collaboration with state, PJM, FERC on transmission necessary
    Intelligent Utility  January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    NEW JERSEY MUST WORK WITH PJM INTERCONNECTION AND FERC to ensure a reliable supply of energy and capacity at reasonable rates while advocating for policies that help control electricity costs, maintain system reliability and adhere to environmental objectives, according to the state's final 2011 Energy Master Plan.New Jersey is opposed to a FERC-imposed paradigm that hinders in-state generation...
  • Panelists say DOE congestion study should take near-term view
    Intelligent Utility  January/February 2012:  #UtilitySocialMedia
    THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S 2012 CONGESTION STUDY should take a five- to 10-year outlook, panelists at DOE's congestion study workshop said in early December.Extending beyond that in a congestion analysis will render DOE's study too speculative to be useful, they said."The valuable time frame is that in which we engage in actionable planning-the planning pursuant to the criteria we've laid...