Outage Management Systems for the Water Utility

Many electric utilities have implemented some type of Outage Management System (OMS) to help manage outage information and restoration efforts on the electric distribution system. But these same systems are rarely employed by water utilities.  These have increased in sophistication and are often integrated into the utility’s Customer Information System (CIS), Interactive Voice Response...

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Perspectives from the ADS National Town Meeting

Last week I attended the Association for Demand Response & Smart Grid’s (ADS) National Town Meeting in Washington, D.C. The conference is an annual gathering of utilities, regulators, independent system operators and various other stakeholders to discuss the most pressing issues surrounding demand response (DR) programs at the utility level. The discussions ranged from how electric...

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What’s Next for Water AMR/AMI?

What is the next generation view for Automated Meter Infrastructures (AMI) currently being placed into service? Have utilities fully optimized the benefits of these systems and the networks that support them? Most utilities are very familiar with the value AMI systems have brought to utilities. Points such as improved financials from the billing and customer service perspective deservedly get...

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How “Illuminating” is Your Utilities’ Customer Experience? 2015 Customer Effort Index in Utilities Results

In the utilities industry firms are zeroing in on customer experience as a means of predicting and improving customer satisfaction. Their approaches to elevating customer experience vary significantly. We have found that rather than waiting for stakeholders and regulators to force improvements, utilities gain more credibility and support by proactively designing customer interactions to be as...

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Clean Power Plan a “Hot Topic” at Regulatory Conference

The Clean Power Plan (CPP) and its many implications sparked a lot of great dialogue at the Center for Public Utilities’ “Current Issues 2015” regulatory conference held last week in Santa Fe, N.M. Among the audience of state public utility commissioners and utility executives in charge of regulatory strategy, the proposed CPP and anticipation of the final rulemaking this summer was a...

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Telecommunications is the Foundation of the Next Generation Utility

The next generation utility has to be thinking about how to operate in a changing environment and how to become more efficient and effective in managing the grid, saving energy and serving customers.  The surge in effort to build a Smart Grid pushes utilities to acquire more data from the field and utilize that data to make smarter decisions for grid operations. …

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MAS Radio: A critical but aging link for SCADA – Part 1

For years, Multiple Address (MAS) radio has been a popular solution used by utilities to reach and aggregate remote terminal units (RTUs). It is widely used by electric utilities, the oil and gas pipeline industry, water and wastewater systems, and railroads – allowing communications with remote devices that are critical to the reliable and safe operation of the systems which they are part...

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Understanding How the Telecommunication Carriers’ Transition to IP Impacts Utilities

As discussed in the past, the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS), or as some people call it, the Copper Phone Network is going away.  With it will be all of the legacy communications methods the carriers use that are not Ethernet based.   This is due to the proliferation of cellular phones and mobility eliminating the need for a tethered connection.  …

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Methane Regulations & US EPA’s Clean Power Plan Compliance Strategies

The US EPA’s Clean Power Plan proposed in June 2014 is a key component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  When final, the rule will require a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from the power sector by 2030 from 2005 levels, with an interim goal in 2020. Many have speculated about what this regulation will mean for electricity producers across the nation, but a common prediction is that...

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222 W. Adams
Chicago, IL 60606
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