Real-time, big-data-enabled, demand reductions becoming THE go-to smart grid app

Of all the forward-thinking at this month’s 10th annual Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid in Washington, DC and similar conferences in the U.S., one new application is appears curiously off the main radar screen. I’m talking about software that utilities can use to automatically program large-scale demand reductions in real time by […]

With demand response & distributed energy growing: how long will regulators preserve traditional utilities’ business models?

In the six months since a consultant to the Edison Electric Institute wrote a paper describing “Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business,” many utility officials, analysts, investors and consultants have been mulling over how investor-owned electric utilities may have to change principally due to the growth of demand […]

Southern California Edison’s smart grid progress provides valuable lessons for utilities

With more U.S. homes receiving smart meters and more utilities deploying their smart grid infrastructures, there are handful of utilities that have made notable progress with valuable lessons to share for the rest of the industry. I’m talking primarily about CenterPoint Energy in Houston, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern […]

Can Maryland create Utility of the Future that is more reliable & customer responsive?

That question has been posed by the now newly re-elected Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley. He is seeking a “viable method to explore the contours of the utility of the future” with a pilot program to be proposed by March 15, 2013. Utility of the future, in Maryland, you ask? That was my reaction because […]

FAST FIX: How the Smart Grid can save households almost $600 per year

If you need to quickly grasp the potential and benefits of the emerging smart grid in the U.S., this infographic is the best effort yet.  It comes courtesy of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative and its 90+ member utilities, technology companies, non-profits, regulators and consumers advocates. Increasing the power grid’s efficiency by 9% equates to […]

If half of U.S. consumers don’t know what a ‘smart meter’ is, how are they supposed to engage?

That is perhaps the most interesting question raised by the latest “Consumer Pulse” research by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative. In its third survey by the Collaborative of at least 1,000 consumers throughout the U.S. since 2011 reflecting the U.S. demographics, 54% of Americans who are heads of households and at least 18 years old […]

Purported smart meter fires: how power industry can get the facts, manage the risks

As dozens of U.S. utilities ramp up their deployment of smart grid programs and with them new digital / smart meters, a few meter installations reportedly are causing small fires that could undermine the trust utilities need to continue updating the nation’s 100+year-old electric system. It is not clear how many real fires have resulted […]

Are low-income consumers slowing smart grid progress? Hardly . . .

The answer thus far would appear to be that low-income consumers are looking forward to smarter energy offerings based on fresh data from the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative. A recent survey for Collaborative sheds light on the opportunity and the challenge of engaging consumers who have annual family incomes up to $20,000 (for a family […]

FAST FIX: debunking 6 myths about smart meters

Courtesy of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, here are facts about smart/digital meters and six commonly circulated myths — debunked. 1. Smart meters are less accurate than analog meters. Public service commissions require meter manufacturers to supply independently certified testing results to prove that their smart meters provide accurate measurements. 2. Smart meters are a […]

Sprint-ing, not walking, the ‘talk’ to achieve sustainability goals

It’s becoming more clear every day that cleaner energy and environmental sustainability depends on private industry. The expiration of many renewable energy incentives, zero prospects for a U.S. carbon tax or a cap and trade program, restraints on public spending and the low price and growing supplies of natural gas are putting commitments to renewable […]