Smart Grid / Smart Energy

Archives for January 2013 « Recent Articles

Photo of Michael GuilfoyleOffline

The lack of expertise in customer engagement is once again coming back to haunt utilities. A judge has recommended that Xcel not be allowed to recoup from customers the last $16.6 million in costs for the SmartGridCIty project, due to the utility's failure in basic customer engagement. That's the hard cost of the latest black eye for SmartGridCity. The soft cost is potentially much larger, as Boulder, CO is considering the feasibility of municipalization of its electricity. The lasting takeaway is that it's past time to move engagement beyond the rate case, as utilities need to embrace this expertise as a core competency embedded into the strategic planning process. Here are some ways they can do so.

Photo of Casey TalonOffline

Climate change remains one of the most contentious policy battlegrounds as we look into the second term of President Barack Obama. Nods in yesterday's inauguration speech and the recent publication of the National Climate Change Assessment (draft) provide fodder to argue Smart Buildings can be the face of mitigation that simultaneously boosts businesses' bottom lines.

Photo of Rick NicholsonOffline

The Consumerization of Energy (Revisited)

By Rick Nicholson

Last year I wrote an article on the consumerization of energy in which I predicted that “Distributed energy technologies… will soon be able to provide electricity at costs and reliability levels that are competitive with grid power. For the first time in 100 years these technologies will enable consumers to bypass their local electric utility company.” This article examines what has and hasn’t changed in the intervening year.

Photo of Marcus TorchiaOffline

On January 3, 2013, a small Waco, Texas based company called Metrum was acquired by ESCO....

Photo of Casey TalonOffline

Illuminating the Smart Building

By Casey Talon

Early action in 2013 validates IDC Energy Insights' prediction that Smart building LED lighting solutions will be the disruptive technology for energy efficiency in the next three years. Technology innovation and economies of scale will begin to make LED technologies cost competitive and increasingly attractive to end users. Just this week, two big announcements signify the momentum of smart building LED lighting.

Photo of Usman SindhuOffline

In December 2012 Oracle bought DataRaker , provider of cloud-based analytics solution. We anticipate that Oracle will be adding analytics platform over an existing set of utility specific applications. While utilities are showing some early signs of interest in customer analytics, sentiment towards the use of cloud is still meager. This leaves both companies with a tough road ahead.

Photo of Jill FeblowitzOffline

In 2013, North American utilities will be faced with the need to beef up lagging revenues to cover infrastructure investments in a climate where customer satisfaction is declining and reliability is threatened by cyber attacks and extreme weather. At the same time, utilities that have invested in smart meters and smart grid technology will move to the next phase to realize value. In this scenario, utility IT will invest time and dollars in outage response, security, business efficiency, and customer engagement.

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