Getting Up Close and Personal With Smart Grid

on September 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM

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Sometimes technology revolutions require a surprising amount of the human touch.

While the industry discussions and recommendations around smart grid interoperability take place at the highest level of expertise on subjects of great complexity, in the end a great deal of information is still exchanged the old fashioned way: in face-to-face meetings and on the telephone, says the new director of marketing and membership at the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel Blaine Kohl.

SGIP as an organization provides a framework for all smart grid industry participants to accelerate standards harmonization and advance interoperability of relevant devices and systems. For much more, visit their website here.

SGIP relies on its membership to be up to date on the latest industry standards, and to handle the workflow that can lead to recommendations resulting from the impacts of new technologies or regulation. That reliance means a great deal of communication in all the working groups, and a “constant need to monitor what’s going on in the smart grid landscape,” Kohl said in a recent conversation with Breaking Media. Members are “the eyeballs and ears that can be deployed to keep track.”

Maintaining levels of engagement and involvement among the literally hundreds of companies that are members of SGIP to guarantee timely and comprehensive responses is one of SGIP’s biggest internal communications challenges, Kohl said, and meetings like an upcoming November inaugural conference in Florida are part of keeping members up to date and the institution responsive to new developments in a fast-evolving sector.

In communicating with the rest of the world at large, Kohl and SGIP work to balance the overarching messaging following the transition of the organization into a member-financed group in 2013 with the fact that each working group in the new organization interacts with other standards development organizations in doing its own work.

Along with the broader smart grid sector, SGIP is also getting ready to contend with a new operating environment in which the public at large is substantially more aware of their own energy usage and how to manage it with smart grid tools. Kohl noted that recent trends demonstrate greater involvement in energy consumption by consumers and predicted that the technology behind smart grid will become increasingly mainstream.

To read more on Breaking Energy about SGIP, click here.