Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Scams set off utility alarms across the country
    Jun 24, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    Where there's a need, there's a scam. After all, there's a reason that we have the phrase "snake oil salesman" in the lexicon. And the greater the need, the greater the scam opportunities it seems. Snake oil salesmen used good marketing shtick to prey on the sick; today's scammers use technology to spread their cons across the population a bit more objectively-and power has certainly been a part of a con artist's favored target market.

  • Global Manufacturing Glut Receding
    Mukesh Dulani, President of SolarWorld Americas, Solar on the Rebound
    Jun 19, 2014 | Martin Rosenberg

    HILLSBORO, Ore. - Solar power equipment manufacturing is poised for a rebound, according to Mukesh Dulani, president of SolarWorld Americas.

    Comments: 3
  • Becoming a beacon of customer service
    Jun 17, 2014 | Felecia Lokey Etheridge

    Felecia Lokey Etheridge, senior director of customer engagement at Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), tells the utility's singular story about overcoming challenges and regaining customer trust, noting that the utility "found through experience that when a company is not telling its own story, there are not many others who will do it for them."

  • Norris Dam, Tennessee Valley Authority
    Jun 12, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    Shortly after the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was formed in 1933, a pilot program began in Tupelo, MS that offered low cost line of appliances, complete with a five-year financing program. Ahead of its time, the program allowed customers to make their appliance loan payments as part of their utility bill. That was the first of a stream of similar programs, which included energy conservation in the '70s & '80s, and energy efficiency and demand response programs that began in 2007 and continue today. All of these programs were designed to help the people of the Valley use electricity wisely.

  • Energy Central Reviews Big Data
    Topic Rewind: Analytics
    Jun 10, 2014 | PJ Davis

    How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The world of big data is getting bigger. The last few months have produced a number of insightful articles to help slice this topic down into bite size pieces.

    This post brings together some of those articles for easy digesting. Please enjoy this rewind edition.

    Bon Appétit!

  • Jim Rogers Foresees Revolution
    Jim Rogers Foresees Revolution
    Jun 05, 2014 | Martin Rosenberg

    WASHINGTON - By 2020 there will be 11.3 gigawatts of electric storage installed globally, according to Jim Rogers, the former CEO of Duke Energy. It will be a part of the profound change coming to the electric utility sector, Rogers told the meeting of the Energy Storage Association in Washington on Thursday.

  • Customer dislike for utilities is universal but can change
    Jun 03, 2014 | Tim Probert

    You may think Europeans are more sophisticated than you Americans. Well, it turns out that when it comes to utility customer psychology, we are pretty much the same as our cousins in the US of A.

  • Efficiency: a critical success factor for solar storage systems
    May 29, 2014 | F. A. Amoroso

    Storage is potentially the game changer for the solar market nowadays, allowing self-consumption to be increased by using solar energy also to supply loads at night. Other than the reduction of storage cost and the introduction of possible incentive schemes, the maximization of the storage efficiency is a key factor to increase the system profitability, making the investment on solar plus storage actually viable for end-users.

  • A peek behind the forecasting curtain
    May 27, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    To me, forecasting is a bit like that "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" moment in "The Wizard of Oz." After sitting through the "Integrating Energy Forecasts into Utility Planning and Operations: Perspectives from Market Participants" session at IEEE PES T&D in Chicago this April, I have to say it's still rather murky to me. Thank goodness the forecasters are smarter than I am.

  • Mitigating smart grid's privacy risks
    May 22, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    Editor's note: When tapping the pulse of the industry on predictions through 2020, we polled insiders from across the U.S. and Europe.