Deregulation Promotes Continued Growth Around the World

It wasn`t too long ago that vendors were trying, unsuccessfully, to tap into other countries` markets. Due to government regulations and legalities, supplying goods to certain foreign countries has been all but impossible. However, within the last decade countries have started opening their eyes and their markets to foreign investors and vendors. Through these changes, utilities have seen an emergence of foreign investors and vendors seizing opportunities in their countries. Furthermore, these o

Lower Costs and Customer Focus Regenerates Distribution Automation

Don`t wait--automate. This was the battle cry of a few utilities and vendors for promoting distribution automation (DA) about a decade ago. However, because of costs and lack of appropriate incentives, automating very many of the distribution functions just didn`t happen very fast. A few notable exceptions, however, are providing the impetus for others to take another look at the benefits of DA--especially in this competitive, customer-focused era. In some cases, public service commissions are t

Utilities and Cable: An Evolving Model for the Future

The convergence of computer, television and telephone offers many new opportunities to companies that traditionally provided only one service, such as utility companies. New interactive services, such as video-on-demand and Internet access are in high demand, and utility companies have a unique advantage in this growing market. With their miles of "dark" or unused fiber-optic cable and substantial customer support infrastructures already in place, utility companies can successfully participate i

DSP-based Meters Offer High Performance Options for Utilities

Industry deregulation and changing customer needs are putting the squeeze on utility profits these days. The result of these changes is that utility companies will no longer have a monopoly on supplying power to a specific geographic region. As competition heats up, utilities will have to streamline operations in order to compete. In the past, for example, utilities could simply tack onto the consumer`s bill the costs of reading meters in hard-to-reach places, such as rural locations or high-cri

Nations First Purpose-built ISO Prepares to Go Online

This year marks the launch of the nation`s first purpose-built Independent System Operator (ISO). This landmark power reliability operation, the first of its kind in the U.S., ensures equal transmission access to all power generators while maintaining the system`s reliability.

Central Lincoln PUD Integrates Communications Network

In today`s utility environment it is not unusual for electric utilities, as well as some gas and water utilities, to have internal communications networks that rival telecommunications companies` networks. These networks usually carry both data and voice signals, allowing utilities to operate in the most efficient manner possible. Keeping these networks up and running is extremely important. If a communications network fails, SCADA systems, energy management systems, customer information systems

Customer Service Takes Center Stage as Competition Emerges

If you aren`t sure where the utility industry is heading, don`t feel too bad. It is hard to tell these days. It is clear, however, that things are changing and they are changing dramatically. If you don`t think so, consider this: Enron Corp. recently offered California consumers two weeks of free electricity and electric rates 10 percent lower than in 1997.

Router Module

The SmartPath router module from Padcom lets you send and receive data over multiple disparate networks. It provides all the hardware and software needed to intelligently manage connectivity to wide-area and local-area wireless networks. The SmartPath platform is pre-configured at installation with information that can tell when to choose one network over another. The primary network will change automatically based on network access costs, type and size of the message, time of day, network cover

Fotec Catalog

Fotec has released a catalog covering all its test equipment for fiber-optics and the "Fiber U" fiber-optic training programs. Included is the "FOtest`R" line of power meter for troubleshooting fiber-optic systems.

Electronic Submeter

The AMPINNERGY electronic submeter monitors electricity usage of individual buildings, departments, assembly lines or process areas. It is accurate to 0.2 percent and has a built-in surge protection that defends the meter against power spikes as high as 4,400 V It provides data on electricity consumption, demand and time-of-use, and may be interfaced with energy management/building control systems. The AMPINNERGY submeter is UL listed and CSA approved, and complies with meter standards including