Policy & Regulation

News and analysis concerning policy & regulation in the energy sector, including regulatory changes, bills, laws, utility compliance issues and shifts in government structure and policy. This includes project finance, energy sector surveys and reports on energy market trends, business risks and opportunities, together with information on cross border transmission and distribution.

IBM launches “˜mainframe gas gauge’ in environmental push

[img:IBM.thumbnail.jpg| ]Armonk, NY, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 15, 2007 – In an extension of the company's Project Big Green, a $1 billion investment toward dramatically increasing the efficiency of IBM products, IBM has launched a program that allows mainframe customers to monitor their systems' precise energy consumption in real-time. IBM will also begin publishing typical energy consumption data for the IBM System z9 mainframe. The data is derived from actual field measurements of approximately 1,000 customer machines, determining average watts/hour consumed which can be used to calculate watts per unit -- similar to automobile miles per gallon estimates and appliance kilowatt per year ratings.

Service will reduce call center hold times

[img:comed%20logo.thumbnail_0.jpg| ]Chicago, IL, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 12, 2007 – The Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is establishing a new service that gives customers the option of hanging up and having ComEd call them back in the same amount of time they would have been placed on hold.

ComEd, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities with 5.4 million customers, operates two call center facilities in the Chicago area that respond to about 13 million calls a year. Most attempts to reach a customer service representative (CSR) are answered within 30 seconds. The utility's call centers can handle 30,000 calls per hour as a result of voice response technology that allows customers to make simple transactions, such as reporting an outage or paying a bill, without having to talk to a CSR. For more complex inquiries, such as billing or credit issues that require the assistance of a CSR, this new feature will dramatically reduce hold times if a representative is not immediately available.

The new services offers callers the option to hang up and receive a return call in the same amount of time as if they stayed on hold, if there is an extended wait time to speak with a CSR.. The service also will be available for Spanish-speaking customers.

"We are always looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction," said Phyllis Batson, vice president of Customer Contact, ComEd. "We know our customers don't like to be placed on hold for long periods of time. This technology upgrade gives them the freedom to do other things while they wait for a customer service representative to call them back."

ComEd says the technology will significantly reduce the number of times customers abandon phone calls because of hold times. The technology has received rave customer reviews in states where it recently has been introduced, including California, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin.

 

Customers concerned about environmental issues

[img:chartwell_logo.thumbnail.jpg| ]Atlanta, GA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 12, 2007 – Electric consumers are showing increasing concern about environmental issues, and North American utilities are offering programs that help their customers live a sustainable lifestyle, according to researcher Chartwell.

A recent Chartwell report, entitled Helping Customers Live a Sustainable Lifestyle, includes 11 case studies based on in-depth discussions with the leaders of a variety of utility-run eco-friendly programs, including premium green power offerings; assisting with customer-owned renewable generation; residential and commercial green building programs; and effective communication about renewables in the standard mix of energy sources.

Helping utilities understand the intelligent grid

[img:Guido.thumbnail.gif|Guido Bartels,
Chairman,
GridWise Alliance
]Framingham, MA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 11, 2007 – Energy Insights, an IDC company providing research-based advisory and consulting services focused on market and technology developments in the electricity, natural gas, and oil industries, now offers research coverage dedicated to helping utilities and technology providers understand the complex dynamics of the rapidly evolving intelligent grid market.

Real-time pricing option for Ameren Illinois utilities’ customers

[img:CNTEnergy.thumbnail.gif| ]Peoria, Springfield and Decatur, IL, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 11, 2007 – Electric residential customers of the Ameren Illinois utilities (AmerenCILCO, AmerenCIPS and AmerenIP) are eligible to enroll in an optional program for real-time electricity pricing, called Power Smart Pricing. The program offers customers a choice in how they pay for electricity.

Survey reveals differences between UK and US attitudes to energy management

[img:karl-wills_0.jpg|Karl Wills,
CEO,
Abacus Billing
]Reading, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 10, 2007 – A survey conducted by Abacus Billing, a provider of smart meter billing, managed services and billing information applications, has revealed that a worrying 94% of US consumers believe the federal government is failing to encourage households to become energy efficient, despite heightened environmental concerns.

Frost & Sullivan market leadership award announced

[img:Logo_Frost_Sullivan_140px.thumbnail.gif| ]Liberty Lake, WA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 10, 2007 — The 2007 North American Frost & Sullivan Market Leadership Award in the electric meter market has gone to Itron Inc., a company with nearly 45 per cent of the North American revenue share. The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies that demonstrate outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development.

Finnish energy companies invest in AMM

[img:ollila.thumbnail.jpg|Tapio Ollila,
CEO,
Keuruun Sähkö
] Keuruu, Finland --- (METERING.COM) --- October 9, 2007 – Finnish energy companies Keuruun Sähkö Oy and Koillis-Satakunnan Sähkö Oy are acquiring Landis+Gyr's advanced metering management system for their 12,000 metering points. The joint investment of the companies will allow them to improve customer service and development of balance settlement. It demonstrates that the latest metering technology is not only the privilege of big companies, but is at disposal of all progressive energy companies.

Cellnet and Hunt Technologies unite as Cellnet+Hunt

[img:David%20slump_0.jpg|David Slump,
CEO,
Cellnet+Hunt
] Atlanta, GA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 8, 2007 – Following the announcement in July 2007 that Cellnet and Hunt Technologies would combine their business operations, the two companies have now united as Cellnet+Hunt and are able to offer a broad range of advanced metering and infrastructure communications systems to electric, gas and water utilities. The new company has a staff of 700 and over 20 million advanced metering endpoints installed or under contract for more than 500 utilities worldwide.   

Measurement Canada approves Landis+Gyr meters

[img:K-Base.thumbnail.jpg| ]Ottawa, ON, Canada --- (METERING.COM) --- October 8, 2007 – Measurement Canada, an agency of Industry Canada offering services that include evaluating and certifying the accuracy of measuring equipment, has given Landis+Gyr Inc. a 10 year initial re-verification approval for resealing on its already approved S4e and FOCUS™ AL electricity meters.

Latest Feature