Utilities are finding strategic benefits in demand-based metering technologies.
It's been years since utilities regarded customers as mere check-writing extensions of their meters. In fact, utilities' information technology focus during the past decade has centered on gaining greater control over customer information. The objective: Focus on-and fill-customer needs. The results are everywhere:
The industry continues to debate the costs and technology of automated meter reading, even as some regulators insist on immediate implementation.
In the rough-and-tumble energy biz, IT departments are paddling hard to stay afloat.
The storm that Enron ignited last fall shows little sign of abating. Information technology (IT) departments at every energy company have had to react to rapidly changing conditions, whether it be shrinking budgets or nervous workforces.
A call for utilities to leave the marketing business.
Many of us on the front lines can identify with Stanley Klein's observation that, in terms of its implementation, the restructuring of the electric power industry is "fundamentally an information technology event."1
Wait for the "second wave," when new products help suppliers escape the trench warfare of pricing.