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Updated: 19 hours 10 min ago

Digital Migration for Electric Utilities

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 15:19
Utilities have sought to expand digital migration, the movement of customer interactions away from traditional channels and into the digital space. Booz Allen has identified three areas of strategy to help utilities originate and expand their digital portfolios, attract customers to these digital offerings, and improve each interaction.

Leading the Next Era of Electricity Innovation: The grid modernization challenge in the Northeast

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:06
Drawing on NECEC’s work on the Massachusetts Grid Modernization Steering Committee and other grid modernization efforts in the Northeast, this paper examines the benefits of grid modernization and a 21st century electricity system and the policy and regulatory framework needed to advance them.

Con Edison’s post-Sandy storm hardening efforts are paying off

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 17:44
Con Edison has worked to beef up its overhead power delivery system to ensure that outage numbers are down and that fewer customers are affected. The utility says its $1 billion investment has been more than worth it considering the results.

A quick global look at smart grid wins

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 17:33
This week’s collection of smart grid project and development news is a good example of how global the smart grid initiative really is. Read about EnerNOC’s Switzerland project, ABB’s transmission win in the UK, Cyan’s partnership to open up the Sub-Saharan African market and more stories.

GE survey: Millions of Americans willing to pay more for a better grid

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 17:26
A new survey from GE’s Digital Energy business says millions of Americans are so concerned and frustrated with power outages they would pay more on their monthly power bill if it would ensure a more reliable grid. Click for details and other highlights from GE’s Grid Resilience Survey.

Should you enroll your utility in this expanded cybersecurity program?

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 17:22
Electric utilities often find themselves between a rock and a hard place, and cybersecurity is a good example. If they share security problems they risk damaging their stock prices or attracting more attention from hackers. If they don’t share, other utilities could be at risk. But changes in an automated data sharing program could give them some much needed breathing room.

No million by 2015, but electric vehicles are surging

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 17:12
While the numbers make it clear that President Obama’s goal of one million plug-in electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015 won’t be met, that’s no reason for disappointment. As Pete Danko of Breaking Energy found, plug-in EV sales are growing at an astonishing rate… if more slowly than many had expected.

Will you soon be asked to share your utility communications network? (With a water department for instance)

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 17:04
While some may initially balk at the idea of sharing utility communications networks with another operation, such as a water department, both can benefit tremendously from sharing a network and information. Click to read about a private electric utility and a city water department that plan to do just that. It’s said to be the first collaboration of its kind.

7 cutting edge resiliency technologies (New York is investigating them now)

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 17:16
While superstorm Sandy is long gone, its harsh lessons remain fresh for the states affected by the devastation. New York recently funded seven research projects, most of them related to technologies for grid resilience, outage mitigation and improved energy efficiency, including microgrids.

Smart meter fire fears spreading to other parts of Canada

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 17:04
Canadian utility SaskPower was ordered to replace all smart meters it installed after eight minor fires were linked to the meters, despite protests from the meter maker that their devices did not cause them. And lawmakers in Ontario want Toronto Hydro and Hydro One to remove smart meters they deployed. Click for story details and let us know what you think about those decisions.

The utility of the future? To start with, it shouldn’t have a grid, experts say

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:53
Ready for another twist in the discussion about what the utility of the future should or could be like? Jon Wellinghoff, former FERC chairman, and James Tong, strategy VP at Clean Power Finance, recommend taking grid operations out of utilities’ hands. Read on to find out why they believe it would significantly benefit the public, and how it could benefit utilities as well.

At long last, a standard for smart charging

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 17:08
One thing troubling the electric vehicle landscape has been the absence of standards to allow for smart charging. Now, thanks to a collaborative effort between the Electric Power Research Institute and eight car manufacturers, that much needed standard should be on the way.

Want some good news for a change? Evidence that behavioral efficiency will last

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 16:58
Increasing numbers of utilities are adopting behavioral programs to encourage energy efficiency. Even so, many wonder if the effects of those programs will last… if customers will stick with them once the newness wears off. Opower offers evidence that customer interest will remain, and could grow.

Why utilities need to worry about the 10 most vulnerable consumer devices

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 16:52
Those consumer gadgets that make life more convenient, such as sprinkler controllers or garage door openers, don’t sound dangerous. But they could be. Read the story to learn what a security professional has to say about how those and other IoT consumer devices could attract hackers who want to get at smart meter data.

DOE to beef up public access to its research (and it’s free)

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 18:56
In an effort to increase public access to its scientific research, the Energy Department has launched a web-based portal that will offer research publications and digital data. The Department says it hopes the move to make its research more readily available will support more innovation, commercial opportunities and accelerated scientific breakthroughs.

Keeping up with smart grid companies: new projects and developments

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 18:47
This week’s collection of smart grid projects covers a lot of ground: Silver Spring Networks and Trilliant expanding their presence in new and existing territories and GE’s Solutions as a Service implementation for example. And there’s more news from Itron, Siemens and Plug Power.

Smart grid attack scenarios (understand the threat to defend against it)

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 18:39
As the number of threats to the U.S. electric grid increases, the need to raise awareness about them becomes even more critical. Chances are you’ve read several news accounts describing attempted grid attacks from hostile countries. While there are defenses, understanding threats is the first step to preparing for them.

Should you be considering a dual-fuel energy efficiency approach?

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 17:38
ACEEE is talking up the benefits of electric and natural gas utility dual-fuel energy efficiency programs, but they’re not ignoring the challenges and concerns such an undertaking can present. Read the story for a status update and for access to profiles of 16 successful dual-fuel programs.

Another European country takes a step back from smart meters

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 17:32
French regulators have decided the country’s goal of supplying 95% of electricity customers with smart meters by 2020 was “too ambitious” and want to scale it back. Click for more on the story and on the overall status of the EU smart meter initiative.

Munis and coops: Your 7 biggest smart grid screw-ups (IOUs -- you could learn something too)

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 17:21
Electric cooperatives and municipal utilities need to be vigilant about pitfalls that could interfere with the returns they expect from smart grid investments. A report from the Smart Grid Research Consortium identifies seven problem areas that are increasingly causing disappointing returns (along with recommendations for how to ensure that doesn’t happen).