Ben Blumberg, and Jonathon Shaevitz
The Wolf at the Door?
Of course, there's nothing to stop a utility from aggregating its own customers.
WHAT, EXACTLY, IS LOAD "AGGREGATION?" Is it a threat, an opportunity, or merely a sales tactic?
Actions taken in California, as well as in pilot programs across the country, place customer aggregation on the leading edge of efforts to pull native load from electric utilities.
Ironically, present-day utilities already "aggregate" their customers (em albeit into a single group.
Scott L. Englander, John E. Flory, Leslie K. Norford, and Richard D. Tabors
Savings, yes. But some load-management
techniques may imply trade-offs in service
quality.By Scott L. Englander, John E. Flory,
Leslie K. Norford, and Richard D. TaborsAs facility manager for a large hotel, you browse your energy vendor's web site to view tomorrow's hourly prices. But it seems your computer (pc) has already done some browsing of its own. Since it's connected to your energy management system, your pc has already looked up the weather forecast and has logged on to the hotel's main computer to find out what rooms will be used.
NIPSCO wins top prize for customer information
system deemed state-of-the-art.
Runner-up Brooklyn Union melds Internet
technology with internal systems.To borrow a phrase, only three things matter in energy competition: technology, technology, and technology.
An exaggeration, perhaps, but not too far off for the three-dozen-plus electric and gas utilities that submitted applications for the 1996 Utility Leadership Award for Information Technology (em ULTRA for short.
Sponsored by PUBLIC
Vinod K. Dar
The battle to control profit margin really boils down to a battle for the customer premises, where the serious money resides.The gas and electric industries in the United States control about $900 billion in assets (production, logistical, merchant). They employ these assets to serve about 150 million customers (counted separately for gas and electric), but they manage to offer only two rudimentary products (em molecules and electrons (em and at only two levels of service: firm (supposedly) and interruptible (obviously).
Alexander C. Larson
In telecommunications, regulators turn increasingly to the nebulous term known as "cost-based" to set pricing policy. An example is the new Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Act), whose pricing standards for interconnection and network element charges stipulate that the just and reasonable rate for the interconnection of facilities and equipment should be "based on the cost ...
Edward L. Flippen
Professor Peter Navarro, who teaches economics and public policy at the University of California at Irvine, writes in the Harvard Business Review (January-February 1996) that "[t]he deregulation of the electric utility industry represents an important opportunity to enhance the country's competitiveness and improve the standard of living for its citizens. ...
Bruce W. Radford
On a bookshelf behind my desk I've stacked up a few older issues of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY. Some of them go back more than a half-century. Every so often I pull down a copy to see if I can learn anything from history.
Yes, the advertisements appear quaint (Royal typewriters; IBM punch-card machines; Ditto-brand duplicators). But some of the ideas still have legs, with lively quotations from the likes of Louis Brandeis, Harold Ickes, Walter Lippmann, and Fiorello La Guardia.
Lori A. Burkhart
Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) and IBM have developed the Integrity/Customer Services System, which provides any customer service with one telephone call. Customer questions that previously required several transfers will now be handled by a single representative who has access to billing, service, and repair information. Property owners with several buildings or several tenants at one building will receive a combined bill, rather than separate bills for each meter.
jü( )l, n: A unit of energy measurement equal to a watt-second.
San Diego Gas & Electric signed a power-sales contract with Salt River Project (SRP) for 100 Mw of firm capacity and energy for 1996. SRP will gross about $12 million from the sale.
A Siemens Power generation research team claims a new world record in high-temperature, solid-oxide fuel cells for use in power generation plants. The team achieved an output of 10.7 Kw, operating on hydrogen and oxygen at 950°C.
Current utility marketing efforts focus almost entirely on large customers or "key" accounts, responding reactively to competitive threats such as self-generation, municipalization, and even geographic relocation. These threats have become all too real for many utilities. Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. has lost 15 percent of its large industrial load in the last 15 years. The recently negotiated long-term power contracts between Detroit Edison and the Big Three automakers are a conscious response to the looming threat of retail wheeling.