A Subscriber Wonders What Exactly Constitutes a “Dumb” Utility?



UtiliQ Ranking Focuses on Use of Technology and Innovation to Better Serve Customers


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has just been named one of the nation’s most “intelligent utilities” in the third annual “UtiliQ” ranking by Intelligent Utilitymagazine, which focuses on the smart grid and information-enabled energy, and IDC Energy Insights, a worldwide research and consulting firm. PG&E was second in the 2011 ranking, behind San Diego Gas & Electric, and up from third place in 2010.

The magazine defines an intelligent utility as “one that is productive, uses resources wisely, deploys information and technology to the best advantage, provides options to its customers, maintains reliability, and runs a sustainable business. The intelligent utility is steadfastly and thoughtfully re-aligning its objective, business processes and technology to prepare for the future.”

“We’re proud to be honored for our commitment to innovating on behalf of our customers,” said Kevin Dasso, senior director of technology and information strategy at PG&E. “Whether modernizing our grid to make it ‘smarter,’  providing some of the cleanest power in the industry, or helping customers find new ways to manage their energy better, we are focused on applying improved technology and practices to our core mission: delivering safe, reliable, and affordable energy services.”

The rankings were derived from five metrics that gauged each utility’s productivity (revenue per employee), commitment to renewable energy (based on sales and capacity), smart grid initiatives (including investments in smart metering), programs to help customers use energy more efficiently, and investment in information technology to enable business process improvement.

One change in the methodology for 2011 was the inclusion of a bonus for those utilities that demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by having a corporate social responsibility officer and an annual sustainability report. PG&E has both.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.


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