Climbing Out of the Smart Grid Trough of Disillusionment

We are entering what Gartner would call the trough of disillusionment for smart grid.  It is the stage of the Gartner hype cycle when the initial lust for the potential and benefits of smart grid technology gives way to the morning after realization that getting to those smart grid promises is going to take longer Read more about Climbing Out of the Smart Grid Trough of Disillusionment[…]

Are You Smarter than Your Smart Meter?

For the past year and a half since PG&E installed smart meters on my electricity and natural gas lines at my home I have been writing about smart meter technology, customer education and the implications of changes in our energy use brought about by changing technology. These blog posts have been the most frequented of Read more about Are You Smarter than Your Smart Meter?[…]

Life with My PG&E Smart Meter after One Year

My PG&E Smart Meter was installed in December 2009 so I thought it time to review my first year experience and what I have learned.  The PG&E contractor installed the smart meter in just a few minutes and it worked fine.  No problems with meter operation. Customer Contact from PG&E About a month after my Read more about Life with My PG&E Smart Meter after One Year[…]

US DOE RFI Asks What is Smart Grid?

Promoting and facilitating the deployment of smart grid technology became a policy priority for the Federal Government with the passage of the Energy Independent and Security Act of 2007. On September 17, 2010, the US Department of Energy (DOE) published a Request for Information (RFI) to help it define smart grid and the benefits it Read more about US DOE RFI Asks What is Smart Grid?[…]

Is Cleantech Ignoring Energy Fundamentals?

The energy and utility landscape is changing rapidly and radically as a consequence of the recession, state mandates for renewable energy, demand response and energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.  As regulators try to implement the climate change and clean energy aspirations of politicians the opportunities presented are attracting new players bringing new technology. Read more about Is Cleantech Ignoring Energy Fundamentals?[…]

The Bakersfield Effect 2.0: Will Smart Meter Opposition Metastisize?

You knew this would happen didn’t you? Smart meter opponents are going online to spread the word about protest opportunities, keep their members revved up and add pressure to politicians and regulators.  I have not noticed this much until recently but now here in the San Francisco Bay area there seem to be a host Read more about The Bakersfield Effect 2.0: Will Smart Meter Opposition Metastisize?[…]

Strangling Smart Grid or Greasing the Skids: Federal Uniformity-vs-State Rights

Ever since the beginning of public utility regulation there has been tension between the role of the Federal Government and the States.  So far States have fared well in this checks and balances contest of wills.  The Federal government’s focus on interstate commerce and the wholesale market rules, regulations and safety requirements to enforce a Read more about Strangling Smart Grid or Greasing the Skids: Federal Uniformity-vs-State Rights[…]

What Should Pete Darbee Do to Get PG&E's Customer Service Groove Back?

I get asked why I spend so much time writing about PG&E.  The answer is my home town utility is one of the best at what it does—but being the best utility may not be enough to save the traditional investor owned utility business model as the waves of disruptive technology and the changes they Read more about What Should Pete Darbee Do to Get PG&E's Customer Service Groove Back?[…]

“Smart Meters, Bad Manners”

It did not take long for the reaction to the CPUC report by The Structure Group on Smart Meters to pour in—and it was not good.  The front page headline in the San Jose Mercury News story blared “Smart Meters, Bad Manners”. The news story prominently blasted the PG&E customer service saying that customers of Read more about “Smart Meters, Bad Manners”[…]