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POWERGRID_INTERNATIONAL Volume 5 Issue 6

Keeping the Lights On

Performance-based pricing, bad press after a major natural disaster, pressure to improve customer service-these are but a few of the business drivers forcing utilities to take a hard look at improving their outage management and restoration capabilities.

Integrated SCADA Drives Muni’s Efficiency and Effectiveness

A visit to any utility these days is dominated by discussions, meetings and activities on how the utility can be more efficient, more effective and ultimately more competitive. When the utility is a municipal utility that provides all four major utility services-electric, gas, water and wastewater-the potential for inefficiencies expands significantly.

Putting E-bills in Customers’ Hands: Bridging the Legacy to Internet Gap

Interest in business-to-business e-commerce is exploding. Total sales using business-to-business e-commerce have soared from near zero only a few years ago to $114 billion today, according to Goldman, Sachs & Co., and current estimates are that more than 90 percent of U.S. businesses will do their purchasing via the Internet within the next three years.

Technologies for a Deregulating Industry

Electric utilities are facing unprecedented change associated with industry deregulation. This change has led to new forms of competition. To generate additional revenue sources, utility companies are under pressure to divest themselves of certain assets, diversify into other businesses, form strategic alliances and merge with other utilities. Each path poses unique challenges.

Tracking Projects on Time at Hydro-Quebec

Hydro-Quebec, one of eastern Canada's largest enterprises, is best known for generating and distributing power to more than 3.5 million customers across Quebec. With abundant hydropower reserves, the company also supplies power to nine municipal systems, one regional cooperative and 15 electric utilities in the northeastern United States and surrounding Canadian provinces.

News Briefs

South Carolina-based Palmetto Electric Cooperative has placed a 5,000-unit order to begin deployment of American Innovations' AIMetering System for automatic meter reading. Palmetto reportedly will forgo a pilot project and begin deployment immediately.

News

If its intended results are achieved, a new online program from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) could serve an important dual purpose-reducing the amount of customer bills and reducing strain on the electric power grid.

Keeping the Lights on Is Becoming Quite a Chore

You may recall that in last month's "From the Editor" column, I wrote about the importance of a well-maintained T&D infrastructure.

PBR – A Window of Opportunity for Transmission Owners

Performance-based ratemaking (PBR) provides an opportunity for transmission owners in the new competitive era to maximize return on assets and increase shareholder value.