Utilities honoured for excellence at Itron Utility Week


Frost & Sullivan has announced Pepco Holdings and the City of Bismarck, North Dakota’s water utility, as the recipients of this year’s Excellence in Resourcefulness Awards for energy and water.

The annual awards honour companies that have demonstrated their commitment and ability to significantly reduce energy and water use based on a recent and successful technology implementation. The achievements of these utilities were recognised during Itron Utility Week in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Pepco includes Atlantic City Electric in southern New Jersey, Delmarva Power in Delaware and Maryland and Pepco in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The companies deliver clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy service to more than 2 million electric and natural gas customers.

Pepco Holdings was recognised for its Energy Wise Rewards programme, which is one of the most successful and widely recognised demand response programmes in the industry.

The programme allows the utilities to remotely cycle more than 400,000 air conditioners and heat pumps on and off for short periods during peak energy periods.

“The programme’s impressive penetration rate of 60% among eligible customers in Maryland is a true testament to the trust that Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power and Pepco have gained with their customers,” Farah Saeed, research director digital grids at Frost & Sullivan. “Through the Energy Wise Rewards programme, these utilities are walking the path to becoming premier energy customer partners.”

The City of Bismarck, North Dakota’s water utility completed a major network improvement in 2017 to ensure all customer meters were smart meters. The utility modernised its system with Itron’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and Itron Analytics, which delivers advanced analysis and insight. With these upgrades, the utility changed the way local residents and the city government understood water management and utility operations, which has allowed the city to bill customers with accurate consumption and track usage and/or loss throughout the system.

Frost & Sullivan believes, the City of Bismarck has delivered exceptional results through its strategic investments in advanced solutions that resourcefully manage its water supplies.

“The winners of this year’s Frost & Sullivan’s Excellence in Resourcefulness Awards both succeeded in creating commendable programmes that manage water and energy more resourcefully. Pepco Holdings implemented a highly successful demand response programme that improved overall customer satisfaction and optimised energy efficiency, which distinguished them as a clear winner in the energy category,” said Saeed. “The City of Bismarck obtained impressive water reduction results from their AMI implementation and analytics solution, making them the exemplary winner in the water category.”

As a part of the selection process, Frost & Sullivan conducted in-depth research and interviews and evaluated utilities against industry best practices and the decision criteria, including societal impact and business impact for each category.

Indicators for societal impact included improving customer awareness and participation; enabling behavioral change to reduce waste through customer engagement and technology-driven programs; and yielding impressive waste reduction results that benefit the overall served community.

Indicators for business impact included drafting a clear vision to address excessive waste through technology implementation; achieving operational effectiveness as a result of successful strategy for sustainability; and strengthening a utility’s brand image as a leader for sustainability.