Reliability issues represent ongoing challenges for utilities. Customers see these challenges in occasional loss of power to their home or business. Utility managers and shareholders see these challenges in rising stress on energy delivery systems and in scrutiny by regulators of the consistency and quality of service delivered to ratepayers. Managing outages and power quality has a significant impact on the bottom-line performance of a utility. For example, improving key indicators such as the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) can save utilities millions of dollars a year and improve relations with regulators, ratepayers and shareholders alike.
This paper describes the types of reliability issues a utility can encounter; how utilities currently handle these issues; and how a radio-frequency-based (RF) local-area mesh network such as OpenWay by Itron (referred to as the OpenWay RFLAN or simply RFLAN throughout this article) can provide significant benefits in improving response times, reducing restoration time and costs, helping prevent future outages, and optimizing asset management.
[img:voss.thumbnail.jpeg|Thomas R. Voss, President & CEO, Ameren Corporation]St Louis, MI, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- September 3, 2009 - Ameren companies in Illinois and Missouri have started a mobile power outage information service, “ameren.mobi,” for their 2.4 million electric customers in the two states.
Ameren.mobi offers customers the comfort of being able to report a power outage from a mobile device and provides statistics organized by county and ZIP code to users of BlackBerries, Palm Pilots, iPhones and other mobile devices.
The group CEO of the UK's grid operator, National Grid has insisted that the state has one of the world’s most reliable energy networks, and that he was not on holiday during the blackout on Friday 9 August that left 900.000 people without electricity.
A new report released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) states that energy efficiency is a cost-effective way for utilities in the US to address cold-weather electricity challenges.