This week at the Networked Grid Conference, smart grid industry leaders are gathered to discuss how to close the gap between utility interests in smart grid and what benefits customers expect to receive. “We’re trying to close the gap between what excites us and what excites them,” said Jim Greer, COO of Oncor, during the morning keynote.
According to a new article on GreenTech Media, providing useful applications for customers is one of the primary strategies for integrating end-to-end smart grid that provides benefits to everyone. “Although technical questions of true interoperability and consumer engagement seem like disparate issues, they are not necessarily. They are both issues of creating value across the entire business structure. That is the real smart grid, and 2012 is the year where we’re likely to see it in action.”
“On the customer side, there is a similar goal. It’s not enough to have a meter unless people can interact with the data in a way that makes sense for them. Maybe it’s an alert when they cross into another billing tier, or a monthly email showing their usage compared to their neighbor.”
The article continues to describe some examples of providing smart meter data to people in a way that makes sense. “Oncor and San Diego Gas & Electric held a contest, Biggest Energy Savers, to promote energy efficiency by leveraging smart grid data. Some people saved up to 40 percent. The contest was a way to let people know that there were a variety of different ways to use this new technology.”
Finally, the article concludes with another quote from Greer about the unique opportunity that smart grid represents right now for the energy industry. “I think we have a really unique opportunity in the history of the industry,” said Greer. “I’m excited to be part of that. I know our customers will be excited about that, they just don’t know it yet.”
Check out the full article here, and learn more about customer engagement and smart grid data in our new white paper.