CIS & Billing

Blockchain is Coming!

A Future of Distributed Ledgers

Blockchain is a distributed system of electronic ledgers that provide automatic, instant cross-verification of transactions. With it, bitcoin offered an unsurpassed degree of reliability. Perhaps you think utilities can just wait and adopt bitcoin or cyber-whatever later. But anticipation and precautionary actions are the best course in the face of uncertainty.

Letter: Response to Cicchetti Re: Residential Demand Charges

A response to the article by Charles Cicchetti in our December 2016 issue

Charles Cicchetti's December 2016 article asserts TOU rates are a preferable alternative to demand charges for distributed energy resources (DER) customers. But TOU rates are not enough to maximize the benefits of DER.

Illicit Marketing Practices

State PUCs take aim at unscrupulous electric and gas suppliers.

We’ll cover state PUC rulings from New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio, dealing with 1) billing overcharges, 2) deceptive promises of savings, 3) faulty enrollment practices, 4) “slamming,” 5) misleading sales scripts used in telemarketing, 6) hidden fixed charges, and 7) concealed pass-through clauses.

Response to Brown Re: Net Metering

A response to the letter to the editor by Ashley Brown in our February 2016 issue.

Is rooftop solar more like an independent power producer, subject to societal regulation and policy, such as wholesale-level regulation or retail-level resource planning? Or is the electricity that is produced a private consumer good, immune from regulation, policy, and planning?

Social Intelligence

Harnessing the true power of social media.

Customers expect their utilities to communicate as well as other service providers. This shouldn’t be considered a burden, but an opportunity.

Toward a 21st Century Grid

Producing value with advanced distribution management systems.

Changing demands from regulators, customers, and shareholders are driving utilities toward better operational technologies to manage an increasingly complex grid. Advanced distribution management systems (ADMS) promise nearly real-time operational insight for maintaining reliability, safety, and security.

IT-OT Convergence

Breaking down silos to achieve a more enabled workforce and more informed stakeholders.

Operations are finally getting together with IT. As a result, utilities will be able to achieve a range of business goals&emdash;and serve customers better.

The Social Utility

Mastering multi-channel communications for customer service success.

Utilities across the country are experimenting with various new ways to communicate with customers—from Twitter feeds to text alerts. But few utilities have figured out how to integrate new media channels into a coherent customer engagement approach. A multi-tiered strategy will best serve the needs of customers—and the utility.

Tools, Platforms and Ecosystems

Can a disruptive technology change the electric customer experience?

North American energy utilities are investing billions to create a smart grid to enhance service for retail electric customers. The smart grid, a disruptive technology, will provide utilities and customers with access to information about how electricity is used that they’ve never had in the past. More importantly this information can empower customers to take ownership of their consumption profile and demand different products and services.