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Why California's new building code is good for Google (but dangerous for utilities)

smart grid, modern grid, energy efficiency, building energy efficiency standards, California energy efficiency standards, policy and regulation, electric utilities
It appears that California’s new building energy efficiency standards will have primarily good implications for utilities. They are expected to eventually have a better way to reap the benefits of automated demand response, for example. But there are dangers, too. Click to get the details.

How to improve resiliency: Adopt the Incident Command System

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid security, disaster preparation, incident control, Incident Command System, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
The federal government’s Incident Command System is an incident management approach for all hazards, including severe weather and terrorist attacks. While most utilities consider it important, only about 50% use it for each incident. Learning how to use the system now could prove well worth the effort in the future, even if there are challenges and it isn’t tailor-made for utilities.

Why and how to convert Big Data into little data (aka actionable data)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid data, data analytics, electric utilities
Could it be that utilities have been using the wrong approach to deal with the huge amounts of data the smart grid produces? Guest author Steve Ehrlich explains a better way to squeeze value and actionable insight from all that data. And it’s not rocket science.

Utilities: Time to get on the optimization bandwagon

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, grid optimization, electric utilities
There are more ways to meet increasing demand for electric power than firing up new generating plants to provide it. Guest author Roei Ganzarski shares details on new grid optimization technologies, what their capabilities are and how they can be immensely beneficial now and in the future.

How Google's disdain for utilities could ruin its Nest acquisition

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid strategy, smart grid markets, Google, Nest, energy storage,
When Google attempted to move into the home energy management space a few years ago, it first tried to work with utilities but rejected that approach when it decided utilities were too balkanized. Guest author Tom Osterhus explains in detail why that may have been a bad strategy. And he has several insights to share about energy storage and time-of-use pricing.

Why Opower's IPO is so important to all of us

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, home energy management, Opower, markets and pricing
When Opower launched its IPO on April 4, share prices jumped during the first day of trading. While that’s certainly great news for Opower and the home energy management sector, it’s also very good news for the industry overall. Click for details and what the IPO could mean for the industry’s future.

For utilities, banks, and other critical infrastructure providers, Y2K arrives April 8 2014

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, security, microgrids, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
Microsoft will end support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. While the announcement was made years ago, the very tough challenges for utilities and others working with critical infrastructure are no less real. Guest contributors Stuart McCafferty and Andy Bochman offer a detailed account of those challenges as well as ways to mitigate them.

4 keys to greater resiliency (#4 is most important)

smart grid, modern grid, storm damage mitigation, storm damage strategy, data analytics, electric utilities
The devastating series of storms that swept through many parts of the country focused attention on the need to minimize the damage they cause. With the steady advances in data analytics and improved weather data, the time is coming when we can predict the location and severity of storms. And that will be a welcome and valuable addition to the storm damage mitigation toolbox.

The 3 kinds of cybersecurity every utility needs (and a reference architecture you need to know about)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid security, cybersecurity, electric utilities
Utilities are routinely criticized for not doing enough to address cybersecurity. With that in mind, guest author Brian Smith of EnerNex does an excellent job of laying out the challenges utilities face when forced to deal with constantly evolving threats. He also shares details of a pilot program intended to improve the agility of their cyber defense strategies.

Psssst! Pass these substation security ideas along to NERC. (Right now.)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid security, physical security, FERC, NERC, substations, electric utilities
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently told the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to develop a new physical security standard, and NERC has less than 90 days to do it. Doug Houseman of EnerNex has obviously put some serious thought into the issue and shares some very good ideas on substation security. Click to read what he has to say.

Future smart meter rollouts: Chaos is NOT inevitable

smart grid, modern grid, smart meters, AMI, advanced metering infrastructure, smart meter deployments, electric utilities, lessons learned
Considering the depth of experience the electric power industry now has in smart meter deployments, one would think the rollouts would be piece of cake smooth and trouble-free. Not so. Some utilities still make the same mistakes that were made early on. Sangeet Dutta shares why… and what can be done to avoid those missteps.

Utilities: Why it's time to get tougher on energy theft (And on ourselves)

smart grid, smart grid technology, electricity theft, energy theft, energy theft prevention, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
Losses from energy theft run into the hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars annually. And it’s a worldwide problem utilities haven’t pursued because getting the evidence to prosecute thieves is so hard to come by. But guest author Alan Snook says there is now a way to do just that: Distribution Transformer Monitoring. Click to learn about the technology and how utilities can use it to pinpoint theft.

Smart grid interoperability: We now have an answer (its initials are MQTT)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid standards, smart grid interoperability, NIST, Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, policy and regulation, electric utilities, Internet of Things, M2M
So, what is MQTT? Guest author Geoff Brown answers that question and explains why it’s crucial to smart grid interoperability and the integration of M2M and the Internet of Things. He also shares problems and challenges – as well as solutions that can be implemented now.

Why utilities will soon be obsolete in HI and CA (and then in your state)

smart grid, modern grid, grid modernization, electric utility obsolescence, smart grid trends, rooftop solar, smart grid strategy, policy and regulation
The electric grid may become optional in some parts of the United States because of three converging trends, says a recently released report. But the much talked about utility “death spiral” could be deferred, and there are ways utilities could latch onto a competitive edge. Click to find out how and why.

A faster way to restore power? This company thinks so

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, sensors, distribution network sensors, distribution, electric utilities, markets and pricing
If there is such a thing as a quiet explosion, the phrase would accurately describe the growth of low-cost sensors for distribution networks. They’re becoming more widespread, more functional and smarter. Guest author Ashley Walter describes one such technology. Think of it as an example of what’s behind a quickly growing market.

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