News & Commentary
Intelligent Utility Insights
Brought to you by our editorial team.
- Apr 27, 2015 |
- Apr 26, 2015 |
- Apr 23, 2015 |
- Apr 22, 2015 |
- Apr 21, 2015 |
- Apr 20, 2015 |
- Apr 19, 2015 |
- Apr 16, 2015 |
- Apr 15, 2015 |
- Apr 14, 2015 |
Commentary from Industry Pros
Going digital is the latest buzzword in the utilities sector. One sees utilities drawing up digital roadmaps and making investments geared towards a `digital transformation'.
We've spoken previously about the potential for fuel-cell growth in developing countries like India, and there's no doubt that hydrogen fuel cells could lead those regions into a new future.
Over the past decade, customer engagement has become a buzzword among utilities. Customers want to know their energy use and want to be recommended ways to reduce use, they say. As a marketer and energy entrepreneur, I wholeheartedly agree that customers must be engaged. However, as an energy consumer, the current state of utility marketing bothers me.
The term "Automation (A)" was introduced in the 1970s as a way to describe the use of advanced controls and communication technologies to improve power system performance and reduce operating costs. Its popularity grew, leading to steady, methodical, and systematic advancements that continue to this day.
The revision cycle for the National Electrical Code (or NEC for short) continues through its phases, similar to the changing seasons. While many readers may be familiar, a brief summary of the NEC could be necessary.
In the utility industry, customers expect - actually they demand - uninterrupted service and perfect product delivery. The threshold of tolerance for "mistakes" or slow response is low; the audience is vocal, digitally savvy and socially empowered; and there are government and regulatory eyes watching at all times.
Mobile technology is redefining the workday. Field techs increasingly leverage mobile devices for tasks that previously required time-intensive phone calls and paperwork.
Many Small Business programs are named "Small Business Direct Install" - and direct install is literally where they stop.
Currently there's a fundamental debate taking place in the energy industry over which approach to demand management provides the most value, and it's an important discussion because utilities need to consistently justify the time and effort they put into any energy management program.
Utility programs to engage energy customers about their use of energy have gone from pilot phase to standard practice over the last ten years. Unless the electricity stops flowing, few people think about being an energy customer, nor do they ask for information about their consumption patterns.