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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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This week’s smart grid (and smart water) wins: projects, milestones and a merger

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid wins, smart grid companies, vendors, smart grid projects
Read this week’s smart grid wins roundup to learn about new projects and developments for a variety of smart grid and smart water companies. Also, don’t miss the news about the proposed merger between Exelon Corporation and Pepco Holdings.

No million by 2015, but electric vehicles are surging

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric transportation, EVs, plug-in electric vehicles, EV sales
While the numbers make it clear that President Obama’s goal of one million plug-in electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015 won’t be met, that’s no reason for disappointment. As Pete Danko of Breaking Energy found, plug-in EV sales are growing at an astonishing rate… if more slowly than many had expected.

7 cutting edge resiliency technologies (New York is investigating them now)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid R&D, grid resiliency, outage management, energy, New York state
While superstorm Sandy is long gone, its harsh lessons remain fresh for the states affected by the devastation. New York recently funded seven research projects, most of them related to technologies for grid resilience, outage mitigation and improved energy efficiency, including microgrids.

At long last, a standard for smart charging

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric vehicles, EVs, EV charging, smart charging, standards, electric utilities
One thing troubling the electric vehicle landscape has been the absence of standards to allow for smart charging. Now, thanks to a collaborative effort between the Electric Power Research Institute and eight car manufacturers, that much needed standard should be on the way.

Want some good news for a change? Evidence that behavioral efficiency will last

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, customer engagement, Opower, behavioral science, electric utilities
Increasing numbers of utilities are adopting behavioral programs to encourage energy efficiency. Even so, many wonder if the effects of those programs will last… if customers will stick with them once the newness wears off. Opower offers evidence that customer interest will remain, and could grow.

Should you be considering a dual-fuel energy efficiency approach?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, dual-fuel energy efficiency programs, electric utilities, ACEEE
ACEEE is talking up the benefits of electric and natural gas utility dual-fuel energy efficiency programs, but they’re not ignoring the challenges and concerns such an undertaking can present. Read the story for a status update and for access to profiles of 16 successful dual-fuel programs.

The 5 things utilities need to know about smart cities

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart cities, electric utilities
Power utilities have a major role in the development and success of a smart city, although the exact nature of the connection between the two can be complex. We thought you would be interested in a collection of articles that address where and how utilities fit into the smart city equation.

EEI asks electric utilities to help rev up PEV adoption

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric transportation, Edison Electric Institute, electric utilities
The Edison Electric Institute is asking electric utilities to allocate a percentage of their annual fleet purchasing budgets for plug-in electric vehicles. EEI says utilities are a “tremendous leader” in supporting electric transportation and should further support the PEV cause and lead by example.

What Disney can teach you about messaging to utility customers (yes, Disney)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, customer engagement, energy conservation, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
Persuading customers to get serious about conserving energy has been a tough nut for utilities to crack. But CEIVA Energy CEO Dean Schiller, a former Walt Disney executive, shares some refreshing and engaging thoughts (with examples) on how to get, and keep, customers’ attention.

Home energy management systems get another chance (in Massachusetts)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, home energy management, CEIVA, National Grid, smart grid research and development, Worcester, MA
While home energy management devices are nowhere near as popular as we expected them to be years ago, National Grid is going to make a go of it with CEIVA at its smart grid test bed project in Worcester, Massachusetts. Click to learn more about the project.

Sure the utility business model is changing, but not so fast

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, utility business case, distributed generation, electric utilities
The changing utility business model has been the source of considerable debate and handwringing. Yes, there are plenty of challenges confronting utilities now, but is wholesale change really coming soon? Jared Anderson of Breaking Energy recently interviewed an expert on the topic, and he had some very interesting things to say.

What Texas is doing to stay "the leader in smart energy"

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, smart meters, electric utilities
A revealing report from a Texas regional energy efficiency advocacy group outlines the state’s achievements, its shortcomings and how far it has to go to fully mine the value available from smart meters. And it offers very useful ideas utilities in every state can learn from.

Smart grid advice from SMUD (Home gateways? Really?)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, home area networks, home gateways, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, electric utilities
Several utilities have walked away from home gateways, turned off by the expense and what they saw as minimal advantages. But according to the head of smart grid project management for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, they do have benefits – for both utilities and their customers.

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.

An Update on Smart Energy in Texas

This report details the promise and potential of smart energy in Texas. Texas has rolled out seven million smart meters, but has only begun to use the intelligence latent in the system to enable smarter energy usage, including time of use pricing and demand response.

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