What’s New and Upcoming in the Utility World - May 2014 Update

Published: Fri 18 Jul 2014
A blog entry by Smart Grid Watch

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Smart Grid Watch
Smart Grid Blog

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As I indicated in my post last month, I’ll be recapping some interesting news shaping the utility industry every month. I invite readers to contribute and share their stories as well. Here’s a succinct synopsis for May 2014:

1. ComEd uses crowdsourcing to improve the look and feel of customer bills - It is exciting to see that utilities are starting to use consumerization methods to get closer to their customers. Crowdsourcing is a great idea for utilities to gather direct feedback and also makes customers feels special.

2. Utilities are behind other industries when it comes to delivering web content on mobile devices - This was alarming and eye-opening to me at the same time. Solution vendors are warming up to the idea of providing flexible ways for customers to access energy data; however, utilities will have to craft their web strategies carefully if they want to engage customers quickly.

3. National Grid shares their social media lessons – It’s refreshing to see that more utilities are sharing their social media best practices. I particularly liked this comment in the story: “Be human. The utility found that a humorous and lighter tone, particularly on social media, was more beneficial than ‘corporate speak’."                 

4. DHS reports an industrial control system (ICS) breach due to inferior security - Another example of how the lack of attention towards security controls at the ICS, and software controlling them, can cause a big disaster.

5. The European Commission reports smart grid project outlook - More than 3 billion Euros have been invested since 2002 across 459 smart grid projects in the EU. The report shows the great diversity of projects in progress related to smart grid.

6. News of pilots and projects around the globe – There’s news from around the globe about pilots and new projects such as:

It was a great month of activities, further enforcing that utilities around the globe are busy solving challenges, implementing new projects, and creating value for their customers.

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences. Are there any other hot topics and stories you’ve seen recently?

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