Quick Take: Some utilities are just getting started on their smart grid journey. Others are well on their way. But all utilities will benefit by reviewing the best practices recommended by John Finnigan of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Why look to EDF for advice? For one thing, the organization has some of the country's brightest energy minds on payroll. For another, advocacy groups like EDF can be either friend or foe during the ratemaking process. If your next plan contains the elements recommended by EDF, there's a greater chance that they and similar groups will be in favor, rather than testifying against.
I've given you my abridged version below, but jump to the full article for a more complete explanation. - Jesse Berst
A top-notch smart grid deployment plan will address the following:
1. Strategic purpose: The objectives.
2. Road map: The step-by-step plan for each phase.
3. Technologies: The selected technologies and how they will function together as a unified system.
4. Implementation: How the utility will manage the project and coordinate the different departments.
5. New services: What new products and services, including new rate plans, will the utility provide?
6. Customer impacts: How will customers be affected, including the meters, meter data, billing, collection, connection/disconnection of service, and customer service?
7. Customer education: How will the utility educate customers about the smart grid plan?
8. Cybersecurity and data privacy: How will the utility keep information secure?
9. Open standards. A utility should follow the standards developed by the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP).
10. Performance metrics. Clear performance metrics will hold the utility accountable for delivering all the benefits promised.
Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.
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