CS Week Up to the Challenge

by Jerry Duvall

CS Week is raising the bar in meter-to-cash educational offerings. Holding the bar steady only works when dancing the Limbo. It doesn’t demand greater creativity and stultifies efforts to address and shape the future. Instead, today’s investor-owned utilities, cooperatives and municipalities need all the flexibility, strength and visionary leadership they can attract to survive, thrive and meet their customers’ demands.

CS Week listens to the executives and managers of electric, water and gas utilities throughout North America, discerning the turn-on-a-dime environment in which many of you find yourselves operating. The primary factor in our name change last year was the recognition that as the meter-to-cash spectrum expands to meet changing demands, we have the professional resources and educational structure to serve the “new” specialized services, including field services, demand management and mobile workforces, with cutting-edge workshops and three specialized venue courses.

AMI and MDM

One of the greatest non-salary expenses you may be facing is for advanced metering infrastructure or meter data management and the associated implementation costs. Together, AMI and MDM offer greater knowledge of your customers, greater access to critical information and significant control of your costs. Unlike the magic wand you might like to wave to find these intricate systems installed and operational, there are pitfalls and there are proven strategies to get both the systems and your employees up and running.

To address your AMI and MDM issues, CS Week recruited top expertise for two of the nine workshop tracks, AMI and MDM, a full-day course in CS Week College, and an AMI/MDM “shootout” that wraps up CS Week Executive Summit. Plus, for members, the UtiliPoint AMI/MDM Working Group is co-locating its spring meeting with the CS Week Synergy Groups.

Keynote speakers

CS Week (formerly CIS Conference), takes pride in bringing in luminaries such as Mike Ditka from the world of sports, Capt. James Lovell of Apollo 13, and former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. The stakes are raised for utilities this year and so are CS Week’s distinguished keynote speakers.

Barry Smitherman, newly appointed chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, will speak at CS Week Executive Summit, as will David Goldstein, director of the energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council and author of “Saving Energy, Growing Jobs: How environmental protection promotes economic growth, profitability, innovation and competition.” Dr. Goldstein has been instrumental in developing energy efficiency standards for new buildings and appliances worldwide.

Steve Bartley, deputy general manager of CPS Energy, opens the CS Week General Session on Wednesday. CPS Energy is San Antonio’s electric and gas utility, rated by J.D. Power & Associates number one in customer service in a 2006 survey of residential utility customers.

Energy efficiency, field services, the myth and reality of going green, the essential role of IT, management of energy initiatives–all important to the IOUs, municipalities and cooperatives, and all part of the critical topics comprising CS Week 2008 in San Antonio, May 19-23.

Jerry Duvall, CEO, CS Week

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