News & Commentary
Intelligent Utility Insights
Brought to you by our editorial team.
- Dec 12, 2013 |
- Dec 11, 2013 |
- Dec 10, 2013 |
- Dec 09, 2013 |
- Dec 08, 2013 |
- Dec 05, 2013 |
- Dec 04, 2013 |
- Dec 03, 2013 |
- Dec 02, 2013 |
- Dec 01, 2013 |
Commentary from Industry Pros
As more social media networks launch, the key to success will be to determine which social channels are the most important and when to use them appropriately. 76% of utilities think outage communications is the most important topic for their social media content, while 51% think Twitter and Facebook are now extremely important to their customer contact strategy, according to an August 2013 Chartwell Inc. survey of 47 utilities in North America, representing nearly 67 million customers.
No longer are utilities vertical-integrated from source to home. Reliable energy is assured by SMART grid investments; providing many of us the comfort of a heightened standard of living, raising productivity levels by subsidizing energy efficient end-uses, and making obtainable the luxuries of our aspirational society.
The transition from coal to oil and gas in the 19/20th centuries did not occur because the world was expected to run out of coal. It took place because the economics were in favor of oil and also because this new energy raw material proved to be more versatile, easier to handle and beneficial to human comfort (remember London smog).
In today's environment, everyone is being tasked with doing more with less. A company's decision to add resources, re-allocate resources or cut resources all become reactions to the same basic mandate, streamlining for efficiencies. Such mandates lead to the big question, what functional areas within a company lend themselves to process streamlining?
Earlier this week I spoke with an old friend, who works in the utility practice group of a major management consulting firm. We commiserated about the challenges of getting conservative electric utilities to adopt new technology. My friend opined that the only way to get the attention of utility management is to paint a picture of Armageddon. And there is no surer way to do that, he said, than by talking to them about distributed generation.
When you turn on the lights, turn up the air conditioning or plug in an electric vehicle, it generates data. As the push for smarter infrastructure puts pressure on energy professionals to innovate their business models, they look for insights in all that operational and customer data.
While Ontario has for decades been North America's largest electrical utility, it has often been plagued by political controversy. Many an elected official has used the utility as a means by which to achieve a political agenda. Ongoing political agendas have left the utility saddled with massive debt.
Utilities are embracing the 21st century digital technologies and bringing innovation to their businesses. Fortunately, the century old grid infrastructure has got attention of advanced communications and information technology service providers.
The daily operations of an electric utility like fuel resource planning and taking strategic decisions in balancing the supply and demand of electricity are influenced by load forecasts. When the electricity market has undergone a revolution, load forecasts have gained lot of significance spreading across other business departments like energy trading, financial planning etc.
The accolades keep piling up for the game-changing electric vehicle known as the Tesla Model S. Tesla was named as Motor Trend's Car of the Year, and was also declared the safest car ever by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Consumers claim to love the vehicle. Yet, for all of the critical acclaim and media attention, Tesla has still sold relatively few units. The company has sold none in Texas and isn't likely to do so anytime soon.