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The Smart Grid doesn’t end at the meter. Increasingly, it reaches into the customer premise to talk to building automation systems or even to individual devices. Those customers want new and better ways to monitor, understand and control their consumption. The entire customer side is evolving rapidly – the technology, the regulations, the customer expectations, everything. This section highlights the key trends, issues and applications.

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ACEEE: A very long way to go before the U.S. can claim to be energy-efficient

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, ACEEE
Earlier this week we shared a story reporting on the U.S. electric grid and its ranking as the worst in the industrialized world. Apparently we aren’t doing much better in energy efficiency either, according to a scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Reinventing utilities: Now Minnesota is rethinking the utility business model

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, utility business model, state energy policies, policy and regulation, electric utilities
Minnesota has taken a bi-partisan, inclusive approach in its attempts to overhaul the state’s utility and energy policies. It’s an interesting way to explore and assess the roadblocks, the opportunities and the options available as the state maps out its energy future.

Checking in with Pecan Street’s latest project

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, energy management, customer engagement, Pecan Street
Austin’s Pecan Street, the community-scale test bed for smart grid technologies, has taken on a new project that could significantly change how we use electricity and monitor consumption. We thought you’d like to take a look at what they’re up to now.

Coordinating energy efficiency with a new standards roadmap from ANSI

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, smart grid standards
Energy efficiency has a key role in maintaining the US economy, not to mention energy security, job creation and enhancing the country’s competitiveness. And there is a pressing need for coordination of energy efficiency initiatives at the national level. To meet that need, ANSI’s energy efficiency collaborative has released an efficiency roadmap for the built environment.

Ohio governor puts renewable energy and efficiency requirements on hold

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, renewable energy, energy efficiency, Ohio renewable energy standards, policy and regulation, electric utilities
Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed a controversial bill that freezes the state’s five-year-old renewable energy and energy efficiency requirements for utilities at current levels. Supporters of the freeze have said the state needs time to rethink the economic impacts of the standards.

Utilities: Get ready for your next convergence -- smart grids and smart cities

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid trends, smart cities, utility business model, electric utilities
As the world becomes increasingly urban, cities will fundamentally change. And utilities will need to change to meet the new and evolving demands of those cities. Read the story to learn about what that change, the convergence of smart grids and smart cities, will look like and why utilities should be paying attention now.

The consumer-centric approach that can reverse the utility death spiral (New York is on this path)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, consumer engagement, utility business model, utility death spiral, Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative
The utility “death spiral” predicted by energy and financial analysts does not have to come anytime soon if at all, says the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative’s Patty Durand. She explains New York’s initiative to revamp the role of utilities and develop a consumer-centric approach to energy markets that could bring a new era of “retail power.”

Massachusetts to utilities: Thou shalt modernize (for at least 10 years straight)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, Massachusetts, energy efficiency, renewable energy, policy and regulation, electric utilities
Massachusetts already has a reputation for its commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Now the state is taking it one or two steps further. Regulators have issued orders requiring the state’s electric distribution companies to modernize the electric grid.

How to forecast Ontario's power future (and what it means to the rest of us)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, Ontario, Canada, energy policy, smart grid programs, renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency
Last week, Canadian voters in the province of Ontario surprised the pollsters by electing a majority Liberal government. Guest author Ian H. Rowlands explains why that election should be taken as good news for smart grid proponents as well as for a variety of grid modernization initiatives and programs.

Honeywell to build Army microgrid (and more smart grid project news)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid companies, smart grid projects, mergers and acquisitions, smart grid wins
Honeywell will build a microgrid for the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, and Landis+Gyr will acquire GRIDiant Corporation. Those are only two examples of the big news stories readers will find in this week’s collection of smart grid wins.

5 companies that plan to put utilities out of business

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart homes, home energy management, smart grid trends, electric utilities
Several major companies with ambitions to branch out into other markets (like Google, Comcast and AT&T) are snaring utility revenue with their home energy management offerings. As you read about the five examples in the story, keep in mind that there are many, many smaller companies with the same game plan.

Exelon seeks OK for Pepco purchase… and more smart grid developments

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid projects, mergers and acquisitions, smart grid companies, smart grid vendors
Exelon Corporation and Pepco Holdings have filed an application with FERC for Exelon’s proposed purchase of Pepco. Read about the transaction and other smart grid news from Tantalus, Aclara and more, and about honors for EnerNOC and Memphis, Light, Gas and Water.

Will demand for electric power fall? Yes, if net-zero subdivisions catch on

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, net zero buildings, smart grid trends, energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric utilities
If they’re not doing it already, utilities will want to start thinking about how they are going to respond to the net-zero trend. It’s not just net-zero buildings anymore. Net-zero subdivisions are in the testing phase and some institutions and communities are planning for net-zero campuses and downtown districts.

What the race to control the home means to utilities (it ain't pretty)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, home automation, home energy management, smart homes, electric utilities
Several of the largest technology companies are jumping into the home automation market, and all are determined to come out on top. Why should utilities care? Because each of them will include home energy management features in their offerings, and will be exploring partnerships that open the door for them to push new energy services… and cut utilities out of the picture.

The next phase of the smart grid is... streetlights?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart street lighting, smart grid companies, Silver Spring Networks
Silver Spring Networks isn’t the only smart grid heavyweight to expand its horizons, but it is certainly making serious moves to establish itself as a major figure in the Internet of Things. In addition to its venture in smart street lighting, the company is delving into several other sectors. Click to learn more.

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