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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.

Aging grid assets? How to know which equipment to replace and when

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, predictive maintenance, asset health, Ventyx, electric utilities
The first article in this special issue explored asset health management system strategy and development. Here, guest author Shawn Lyndon shares his thoughts on predictive maintenance and a business tool capable of demonstrating the potential benefits of servicing or replacing aging assets before they fail.

End-to-end asset health: How AEP and others are moving into the future

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, asset health, asset health management systems, analytics, asset health strategy, electric utilities
Aging critical infrastructure, whether it’s transformers, breakers or other equipment, is a daily fact of life for most utilities. While many utilities have tried to piece together an asset health management system of some kind, many see it as too massive an undertaking or don’t take it far enough to be truly effective. Read about a different and much simpler approach to centralized full lifecycle management.

The 5 testing steps that allow utilities to roll out smart devices with confidence

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid devices, smart meters, connected home, home energy management, product testing, electric utilities
As utilities roll out new technologies, they sometimes find problems after the initial installations. That mistake can be costly and the negative publicity damaging. Guest contributor Angus Panton offers guidance to help utilities ensure that doesn’t happen: advance testing methods that can spot problems in meters and other devices before they’re delivered to customers.

Warning: California is rewriting the financial rules for utilities. Will your region be next?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, policy and regulation, distributed energy, renewable energy, California Public Utilities Commission, electric utilities
The California Public Utilities Commission is rewriting requirements for how utilities value distributed energy resources. Guest author Tom Osterhus says the changes will bring new value opportunities, but will be dangerous for utilities that fail to adapt. Click to read his explanation of what those changes will look like and what their impact will likely be.

The 4 priorities that allow utilities to profit from the connected home market

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, home energy management, smart homes, connected homes, smart grid strategy, customer engagement, electric utilities
New technologies are frequently viewed with suspicion in the utility industry. Consider the developing “connected home” market as an example. Guest contributor Angus Panton makes the case that the new market offers substantial growth opportunities for utilities… as long as they attend to four key issues early on.

Another expert writes a requiem for today's "traditional" utilities

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric utility business model, electric utility trends, distributed generation
One view of the future for electric grids and utilities is a scenario that includes two types of distribution utilities, one responsible for maintaining grid operations and another that will sell energy services. Click to read an explanation of one increasingly popular concept of the new utility model: “distribution service operators.”

What to do today to prepare for Big Change tomorrow (from a telecom veteran)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, Big Data, utility business model, utility transformation, smart grid strategy
With massive change coming in the utility business environment, it’s not hard to understand that figuring out how and where to begin to cope with it is a challenge. In the age of the data driven utility, guest author Thomas Zimmermann counsels utilities to take an incremental approach for the best outcome to what will be a major transformation.

The 5 essentials for better customer engagement

smart grid, modern grid, customer engagement, customer engagement srategy, electric utilities
Most utilities have customer engagement programs of some kind by now. But are they doing enough, doing it right? Guest author Martin Milani explains why a comprehensive strategy that cost-effectively engages customers across all touch points and programs is far better than stand-alone solutions. And he shares proven approaches for ensuring meaningful engagement.

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