New Study Shows Global Utility Executives are Embracing SmartGrid and Potential of Demand Response

Ventyx®, the world’s largest private software provider to the energy and utility industry, has announced the results of a new executive research study designed to analyze the SmartGrid strategies of leading utilities around the world. Results of the study indicate that global utility executives have embraced SmartGrid strategy as a platform for fundamental business process transformation initiatives that span the entire energy value chain across generation, T&D and customer service operations.

The Ventyx-sponsored study, completed in Q4 2008, consisted of 45- to 60-minute detailed interviews conducted by The McDonnell Group Inc. with senior-level executives and SmartGrid engineering leaders from two dozen leading global utilities. The study sample included five of the top 15 utilities in North America by residential revenue, two of the top five U.S. public power utilities, three of the six largest global utilities by total end consumer count, as well as utilities that serve customers in more than half of the states in the U.S., three Canadian provinces and several European countries.

The study clearly indicates growing support for SmartGrid initiatives. Of those interviewed, 87 percent indicated the formal establishment of a SmartGrid initiative at their company, with the majority indicating that these efforts had been formalized in the past year and roughly one third indicating formalization in the past two to three years.

“The surveys clearly indicate that, as a whole, the utility industry is responding to regulatory and business improvement opportunities from SmartGrid strategies,” said Ventyx VP of Marketing Andy Bane. “The executives in this study see an opportunity to fundamentally realign the relationship between supply, demand, efficiency and environmental objectives in support of intelligent utility enterprises in order to provide reliable, secure and cost-effective electric service today while dealing with the resource- and carbon-constrained world of the future.”

“Our surveys found clear reasons for a groundswell of support for SmartGrid programs,” said Don McDonnell, president of The McDonnell Group. “Many participants indicated they see an opportunity for SmartGrid programs to drive improvements in their top strategic priority of reliability and system performance. In addition, many felt there were also important benefits achievable in the facilitation of energy efficiency and customer choice for demand response programs.”

The study also identified the perceived importance and readiness in 11 SmartGrid system areas relative to each participant’s SmartGrid roadmap. Furthermore, it outlines some of the perceived risks and concerns of utility executives considering SmartGrid plans and system investments. For more details, visit the Ventyx Website to download a whitepaper summarizing the results.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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