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Community News and Information
Updated: 11 hours 53 min ago

The cost of a smart grid? In Illinois, it's $3 per customer per month

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 16:49
ComEd has filed a proposal for a rate increase to recover initial investments in its ambitious grid modernization effort. If your utility is considering rate adjustments, it would be well worth the time to read how ComEd presents its program and communicates its benefits.

The top 3 U.S. utilities for Twitter and mobile apps. (Would you have guessed Memphis?)

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 16:41
A new report ranks utilities according to their ability to use social media and create compelling mobile applications. It also underscores the need for utilities to get up to speed with social media if they hope to communicate effectively with their customers.

Smart Grid Events and Smart Grid Conferences

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 16:30
Industry events and conferences can help you stay on top of industry trends and technologies and make important contacts. Our calendar is loaded with upcoming events, with links for further details. And be sure to jump to page 2, where you can see the conferences Smart Grid News Chief Analyst Jesse Berst will be attending.

Solyndra be damned: DOE plans massive loan program for renewables

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 16:24
Many industry observers may have thought the DOE loan program was quietly scuttled after Solyndra, which received a federal loan guarantee, went bankrupt. But the program is back in business with new loans expected as soon as year end. Get the details inside.

Lessons learned from North America's top smart grid

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 16:15
Chattanooga’s smart grid has been widely hailed as North America’s most robust. Ever wonder how they did it? Guest authors from Chattanooga utility EPB and Schneider Electric share the details of the initiative’s continuing success, and include helpful advice and lessons learned along the way.

The future of energy storage in Europe. (Subsidies? A boom in Germany?)

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 16:39
A European conference revealed a growing interest in energy storage for several reasons, including to help boost the adoption of solar power, and new regulations to make energy storage less difficult and expensive. And it also indicated that some observers in the region expect an energy storage boom in Germany.

Three cybersecurity resources you can put to work NOW

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 16:29
NIST’s Smart Grid Interoperability Panel offers several useful resources to help utilities respond to the increasing number of cyber threats they face. Among them are a cybersecurity users guide and a webinar coming up later this week. Read on to get the details.

Smart meter backlash is "mass hysteria." (And it's catching on everywhere.)

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 16:17
Earlier, Smart Grid News described the continuing anti-smart meter backlash as the story that won’t go away. Unfortunately, the description remains accurate. Click to read about several examples of current smart meter backlash in the U.S. and Canada.

Utility CIOs: How you stack up against other industries

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 17:22
PricewaterhouseCoopers has released the results of a worldwide survey conducted with CIOs from several different industries. It’s interesting because it reveals how utility CIOs see themselves and how their thinking compares with counterparts in other industries. And you can learn how to raise your Digital IQ.

Smart grid wins: a first for Tollgrade, a multi-million dollar deal for Pulse Energy

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 17:11
It’s been a huge week for several smart grid companies. Read about an array of projects and developments, including a first in the sensor market, a merger, a multi-million dollar contract and other news from several smart grid sectors.

Why California's new building code is good for Google (but dangerous for utilities)

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 16:51
It appears that California’s new building energy efficiency standards will have primarily good implications for utilities. They are expected to eventually have a better way to reap the benefits of automated demand response, for example. But there are dangers, too. Click to get the details.

How to improve resiliency: Adopt the Incident Command System

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:25
The federal government’s Incident Command System is an incident management approach for all hazards, including severe weather and terrorist attacks. While most utilities consider it important, only about 50% use it for each incident. Learning how to use the system now could prove well worth the effort in the future, even if there are challenges and it isn’t tailor-made for utilities.

Want to know where we are headed? Study National Grid's pilot

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:17
National Grid’s smart grid pilot project in Worcester, Massachusetts has been a constantly evolving series of lessons to be learned and a microcosm of the current state-of-the-art. The next phase of the project will be no less so. It’s not just about technology; it’s also focused heavily on consumer engagement and education, time-based pricing and other areas.

Is this what it will take to finally grow the smart water meter market?

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:08
The smart water meter market is growing, but more slowly than expected. A new report from Statplan Energy says the market would grow more quickly with a shift in priorities: concentrate less on the residential sector and more on commercial smart water meters. Click to learn more about the benefits that approach could bring.

Utility professionals: If you work on the market side, you'll want to tap this new tool

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:43
How many utility professionals can find the time to follow all the latest news and numerous reports to keep up with industry trends and markets? Probably not many. Click to read about a new offering from ABB subsidiary Ventyx: the “Energy Markets Intelligence” website. It can make keeping up with North American industry trends and market opportunities downright convenient.

Integrating AMI and OMS: Avoiding the landmines (from those who've gone before)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:25
The benefits of integrating AMI with outage management systems can yield tremendous benefits. But it’s not a simple process and there are problems and pitfalls to watch for. Sign up for our free Smart Grid News webinar, “Integrating AMI and OMS: Avoiding the landmines,” and join us April 22 to learn the tips, tricks and tactics for successful AMI and OMS integration.

More scary news about grid vulnerabilities (and how utilities are getting the blame)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:16
Amid all the news stories focused on grid vulnerabilities comes this gem: the owner of a small technology firm found that breaching the grid is easy, surprisingly easy. His warning? If he can do it, a country or someone with more resources certainly could.

Why and how to convert Big Data into little data (aka actionable data)

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 17:13
Could it be that utilities have been using the wrong approach to deal with the huge amounts of data the smart grid produces? Guest author Steve Ehrlich explains a better way to squeeze value and actionable insight from all that data. And it’s not rocket science.

A new tool to improve utility resiliency. (Did you know about fully submersible switchgear?)

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 17:00
Many communities are pushing to bury their power lines underground to minimize weather-related outages. But that’s not going to do much good in the many parts of the U.S. susceptible to flooding. One part of the solution is flood-resistant equipment. Read on to learn about S&C Electric’s new offering: submersible, water-resistant switchgear.

Two ways the smart grid is unfair to low-income customers (better have answers before your regulators start asking)

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 16:44
Smart grid benefits are many. But what about people who don’t have access to them? That’s the way it stacks up for a lot of low-income consumers, according to a new report from the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative. Click to find out why.