News & Commentary
Intelligent Utility Insights
Brought to you by our editorial team.
- Apr 22, 2014 |
- Apr 21, 2014 |
- Apr 20, 2014 |
- Apr 17, 2014 |
- Apr 16, 2014 |
- Apr 15, 2014 |
- Apr 14, 2014 |
- Apr 12, 2014 |
- Apr 10, 2014 |
- Apr 09, 2014 |
Commentary from Industry Pros
Modern energy and utility companies are becoming vulnerable in ways they are not familiar with: via cyber-attacks. A Symantec report in January said that in the first half of 2013, energy was the fifth most targeted sector worldwide.
The Gordian knot of carbon footprints, global warming, energy costs, and home/transportation inefficiencies is enough to exhaust the most resilient optimist. But.help is on the way. The path forward-to lower carbon, lower costs, and cleaner energy-grows clearer each day. The energy system of tomorrow consists of clean local energy resources, new technology for users, and maximizing efficiency measures.
Several years ago, many utilities went down the path of attempting to use advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) for demand response (DR). As more pursued this option and implemented pilots that served to "kick the tires," we started to hear from utilities that saw limitations with this approach.
The electrification of transportation is posing a challenge and opportunity for utilities across the country, with significant implications for planning, load forecasting, and demand response. As the number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) in use continues to grow, the grid implications of these vehicles is an important planning consideration for energy utilities.
Imagine, if you would, the following scenario which recently occurred. A man walked down a dark street in his neighborhood in a typical northeastern United States suburb, trying to avoid fallen branches brought down by a Sandy - like super storm and other debris that forced him to keep his eyes on the ground in front of him.
You've seen it all over websites, you've heard it on the news, and you've even read it in some magazines. Lowering your thermostat will save you money. Everybody knows that. But what if we told you there are more benefits than just a smaller utility bill? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Especially during a power outage, utility customers want to know everything and know it immediately. "Why haven't I seen a truck?" "When will my power be back on?" "Should I try to move this downed wire that's blocking my street?" "What's taking so long?!"
Communication Systems are used in automation to pass data between device level (sensors, actuators, transducers etc.) and control level (PLC's, RTU's, IED's etc.), between different control level devices, or between control level and supervisory level (SCADA). These data are then used for operator interface, data processing and storage.
In spite of all the potential value ascribed to Smart Meters, retail electric providers have yet to overcome the inertia that has prevented them from deploying detailed energy usage data in everyday business. The Smart Meter challenges and opportunities faced by the retailers have facets not found in the regulated environment.
There are over 150 cost components to every utility bill, which means there are 150 opportunities for an error to pop-up on your statement. If you have ever had the feeling that your business was being overcharged, or you've found a figure that just doesn't look right, you might be correct. It's not always safe to assume that the utility gets it right every time, because believe it or not, accidental overcharges happen more often that you'd think.