Michael Valocchi

The promise of smart grid has long been a closer and two-directional link between energy customers and providers. It has been the promise of an end to the decades of opaque or confusing bills arriving in the mail, an end to the lights and heat coming on or not in a kind of perceived magic only dimly related to real world assets like power plants, energy market regulations or natural gas wells.

The first generation of smart meters, now nearing a decade in age, seemed predicated on the idea that the next step in the evolution of the power consumer was a fascination about energy supply and consumption. Customers would become as obsessed with saving money and tracking usage as their suppliers were, or as they’d been proved to be in other market situations like grocery shopping. That didn’t transpire to be the case, and the high-touch, human-led information processing of the first generation of smart grid failed to have the desired impacts on usage or market transparency. Keep reading →

Ontario’s largest power distributor – Hydro One – is looking to transform the province’s aging electrical system into a state of the art power delivery network. The utility recently selected IBM and Telvent to lead the charge toward a more energy efficient and reliable 21st century power grid.

Built in the 1950’s, Ontario’s electric grid took a centralized approach to power delivery, but the changing nature of electricity generation and transmission, with distributed sources becoming more prevalent, requires a more versatile grid design. Keep reading →

Customers are dealing with information overload by turning to friends, family and social networks in energy as much as they are for every other decision set they face.

In an effort to understand how the industry’s engagement with its customers has changed and is set to change further, IBM took to the streets of New York City with a camera crew. The customers they interview in this video are a mere microcosm of the company’s massive global consumer survey conducted each year. Keep reading →