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Top Five Issues of 2012 (so far)?


From my conversations and coverage, the top issues run a gamut from traditional duties (safety, reliability, affordability)  in the face of change (integrating renewables) to changes (morphing business models) in the face of tradition (regulated monopolies). 

So today I'm just throwing out my notion of the top concerns, along with links to some of our related coverage. I'd love to know your list, because that would help inform our coverage going forward. 

These issues are not ranked by importance, just the order in which they tumbled from my mind. 

Issue # 1: Keeping the lights on while integrating renewables and running pilots around customer engagement and service, AMI, distribution automation and energy storage.

"Customers Will Listen, If Utilities Talk

"Give Customers Real-time Information, too"

"Bulk Energy Storage: A Modest Proposal" 

Issue # 2: Recruiting new staff with diverse but complementary skills such as business/IT and data analytics/power, while retaining key employees long enough for knowledge transfer. 

"Recruiting Utility Talent in New Places?" 

"Is Power Becoming Hip?

"Wanted: Students in the Smart Grid Pipeline" 

Issue # 3: Developing forward-looking business models that take into account the nimbleness and creativity of third parties that can better attract and hold customers' attention. 

"Is `Saving Money' the Right Smart Grid Pitch? 

"Do Regulated Utilities Still Have to Compete?" 

"Centralized Power and Seismic Change?" 

Issue # 4: Dealing with intrusions into their business domain such as microgrids, municipalization and regulatory demands around restoration. 

"Will Cities Defect from IOUs?" 

"Making Electricity Outage Communications Consumer-centric" 

"Utilities Facing a Distributed Generation Future?" 

Issue # 5: Completing ARRA-funded pilot projects and deciding on modest investments that leverage lessons learned without incurring rate increases. 

"Customers Need Energy Data First" 

"The Future of DMS" 

"Focus High on Demand Response and Demand-side Management" 

Phil Carson 
Intelligent Utility Daily


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