First Energy’s Mobile App Focuses on Finance

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Making information about outages, efficiency, and billing available to customers in a timely and consistent manner is an important part of the customer service experience for an energy company, but First Energy, based in Akron, Ohio, and one of the largest utilities in the nation with 4.5 million customers, believes that providing up to date and conveniently accessible financial information … Read More

Answering Public’s Concerns About ‘Smart Meters’

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By 2015 more than half of U.S. households are expected to have smart meters installed. Understandably, consumers are raising questions about them. Some of the more common questions are: what do they do, are they safe, and how do they benefit me? A major benefit of smart meters is the increase in reliability they represent to the electric companies, allowing … Read More

A Checkup for Natural Gas

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced a delay on natural gas drilling in upstate New York. The technique that was to be used was hydraulic fracturing and the delay is for officials to reevaluate the potential health risks involved in the technique. Opponents on both sides of the issue of hydraulic fracturing are passionate, but Joseph Martens, the environmental … Read More

“Medium Rare or Well Done?”

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Creativity Cuts Cost of Connecting with Utility Customers Utility communicators are under increased pressure to do more with less. That puts a premium on creativity. We’re all searching for the same Holy Grail: low-cost, high-impact ways to connect with customers. Two public-power utilities recently shared some very creative ideas to connect with customers. Perhaps their ideas can help you connect … Read More

Utilities Prepare for Next Phase of Smart Grid Investment

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According to a report from GTM Research, municipal utilities will be investing the most money into the smart grid in the next five years. Municipal utilities deliver electricity to about 13% of the United States, making them one of the smaller players in the power generation industry, but they could be spending up to $7 billion on smart grid deployments. … Read More

Improving Infrastructure Through Smart Grid Technology

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As the government transforms itself into a 21st century model and new technologies such as cloud and mobile continue to emerge, it has become necessary for the electrical grid to also update itself. The Department of Energy put out an interesting comparison between our level of technology and our electrical grid. They wrote that if we brought Alexander Graham Bell, … Read More

Successful Smart Grid Optimization

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Many utilities are investigating smart grid optimization plans to maximize the benefits of the electrical system. The benefits for the utilities include increased grid security and a better ability to predict energy demand, while the customers benefit from reduced energy rates, increased grid stability, and reduced outage response times. The first step to smart grid optimization is for the utilities … Read More

OG&E Issues Plan to Deal with Future Generation Needs, Environmental Regulations

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Every three years, Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. is required to submit a non-binding integrated resource plan to regulators for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. This year, OG&E revealed a plan to reduce the demand for its electricity, with hopes that the lowered demand can delay the construction of a new power plant until 2020. The company may add more renewable … Read More