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How the evolving utility-customer relationship is changing home energy management

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, home energy management, electric utility strategies
More consumers are becoming aware of energy efficiency and managing their energy use. While that can certainly be considered progress, the trend also attracted a new set of competitors for utilities. Guest author Jenny Roehm provides an overview, as well as recommendations for how utilities can counter that competition.

How utilities can solve the aging workforce dilemma

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, aging workforce, electric utility trends
Utilities face changes coming from several directions. They are adopting and adapting to new smart grid technologies, dealing with new expectations from customers and regulators, and they also wrestle with another problem. Long-term professionals are retiring, leaving utilities with the chore of finding qualified technicians to replace them. Guest author Andrew Bennett outlines the problem and offers a solution.

What to know about entering the $900B energy reduction assets markets

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy reduction assets, ERAs, energy efficiency, demand response, energy solutions providers, electric utilities
Energy reduction asset markets (ERAs) can be a good fit for small to mid-size energy solution vendors. Guest author Mike Gordon explains what they are, how they work and the role of utilities. He also identifies the risks and possible pitfalls.

Energy’s Big Data day is dawning (Learning what your customers really want)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, data analytics, customer engagement, smart grid strategies, electric utilities
Netflix knew it had a hit with the House of Cards miniseries, even before viewers saw it. What does that have to do with the energy industry? Guest author Adrian Tuck explains how a consumer-centric approach to Big Data can help electricity providers truly get in touch with their customers’ desires, and develop new revenue streams in the process.

Of submarines and advanced utility operations: network resilience strategies

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, machine learning, network resilience, electric utilities, US Navy
In the second part of this series comparing nuclear-powered submarines and advanced utility operations, author Mike Varney shares his thoughts on why incorporating data into network resilience planning is essential and advocates for taking advantage of new technologies that can help utilities maintain efficiency and profitability.

Comparing submarines and advanced utility operations (and the lessons learned)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, situational awareness, advanced utility operations, electric utilities
What do nuclear-powered submarines and advanced utility operations have in common? Quite a lot. Guest author Mike Varney explains the parallels between the two in terms of situational awareness, the important role of machine learning in preserving an operational knowledge base and other aspects in this insightful piece.

How to enhance utility performance and value through the Internet of Things

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, IT and OT convergence, Schneider Electric, Internet of Things, electric utilities
The world utilities operate in is getting less “traditional” quickly, and the number of non-traditional customers, those generating their own electricity, is growing. All of that is forcing utilities to collaborate across traditional boundaries. Guest author Ron Chebra explains why and how the Utility Internet of Things can be a valuable solution to help them accomplish that feat successfully.

More about the plan to turn distribution utilities into "distribution system operators"

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distribution system, distribution system operators, asset management, electric utilities
As more customers adopt new technologies that enable them to generate and manage energy, the electric distribution system becomes more complex… and needs a new management approach to keep up. We’re sharing a Q&A from America’s Power Plan that further explains one proposed solution, the distribution system operator model.

The essential next step for distributed energy (a transparent market that includes end users)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distributed energy resources, DERs, energy markets, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
Distributed energy resources (DER) are becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly in places like California and the Northeast. And growth will continue. But what now? Guest author Alicia Abrams outlines why and how a transparent and flexible energy market would leverage the very real potential of those energy resources.

The essential next step for distributed energy (a transparent market that includes end users)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distributed energy resources, DERs, energy markets, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
Distributed energy resources (DER) are becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly in places like California and the Northeast. And growth will continue. But what now? Guest author Alicia Abrams outlines why and how a transparent and flexible energy market would leverage the very real potential of those energy resources.

We may not need utilities much longer says former COO (and how to prove him wrong)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric utility trends, grid divorce, electric utilities
Large central utilities are losing public and regulatory support and risk becoming a casualty of the shift to self-sufficiency that will take place in much of the world, say the authors of a recently published essay. There is, however, much that utilities can do to steer clear of that dire future. Click for details.

EPA’s Clean Power Plan = cheaper electric bills?

Smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, EPA, EPA Clean Power Plan, carbon pollution limits, policy and regulation, electric utilities
Opponents of EPA’s Clean Power Plan have argued that the restrictions on carbon pollution emissions will mean higher power bills for consumers. In an Environmental Defense Fund blog, a climate and air policy specialist counters that the opposite is true, and that there is plenty of evidence that electric rates could be lower with the new standards in place.

What the iPod teaches us about utility customers (Hint: Your programs have a shelf life)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, customer engagement, behavioral energy efficiency, customer strategies
Of course it’s important to get utility customers involved in energy efficiency. Once accomplished, it’s even more important to keep them interested. Guest contributor Marie McKenna explains that while behavioral energy efficiency (BEE) has been a very effective tool, it shouldn’t be the only product on your program shelf. The parallels she draws with the discontinued iPod offer valuable lessons on why it takes much more to achieve lasting customer engagement.

Surprise! Federal agencies ARE doing a lot to push energy efficiency, says ACEEE

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, energy efficiency policy, federal agencies
The federal government and Congress generally get low marks for doing much about energy efficiency policy. However, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says if we look instead at the federal agencies there’s plenty of action on efficiency policies that could save Americans a substantial amount of money.

"We don't need no stinkin' grid" will be the mantra of the developing world, professor says

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, nanogrids, microgrids, renewable energy, developing world, global business
The idea that a traditional centralized electric grid may not be the best way to deliver power to the millions of people in the world who don’t have it is gaining traction. Read the story to learn about a detailed strategy that calls for major business model and policy changes to support deployment of nanogrids and microgrids in regions with no or intermittent power.

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