Survey reveals that for the second consecutive year, a ‘Need to Show Value from Smart Grid Investments’ tops list of municipal and cooperative utility priorities, Tantalus says
Raleigh, NC – February 3, 2015 – Tantalus, a leading provider of Smart Grid technology, today announced the results of its annual Users Conference survey, which asked leaders and representatives from North America’s top public power utilities to address concerns and investment priorities for 2015. The company surveyed more than 50 of its utility customers at the annual Tantalus Users Conference in October, which brought together a record number of Tantalus customers and partners to receive specialized AMI application training and share best practices with utilities from across the country.
The municipal and cooperative utilities surveyed cited ‘showing return on investment (ROI) and value from smart grid investments’ (37%) as the number one issue they need to focus on in 2015, and addressing the ‘impacts of aging infrastructure’ (17%) ranking second. These findings indicate a continued strong focus on adopting value-add applications designed to leverage and justify smart grid infrastructure platforms while providing value to customers:
- For the second year, Add-on Applications was the top utility investment priority for 2015, which is further evidence to support the trend of demonstrating ROI. Implementing security enhancements doubled as an area of investment for 2015.
- Load control again leads as the most popular application that utilities will implement this year.
- For the first time, Data Analytics ties as the number one utility application to implement in 2015. This finding supports indications that utilities are becoming increasingly more IT and information-driven as the quality, quantity, and accessibility of real-time energy data becomes more prevalent through AMI technologies.
The survey also asked respondents to rank the value of benefits gained from their Tantalus TUNet AMI technology. The top five responses in descending order were: outage notification and restorals, power quality monitoring, reduction in truck rolls, automated billing, and improved customer service.
Other key survey findings include:
- High priority areas of investment cited by respondents include Demand Management and Distribution Automation.
- Of the utilities that indicated they are planning to hire in 2015, 60% of those positions will be technical or IT-related.
“The opportunity associated with the evolving focus of municipal and cooperative utilities beyond basic meter reading towards more data and value-driven operations is exciting for Tantalus and the industry,” said Peter Londa, President & CEO of Tantalus. “As a smart grid technology provider exclusively focused on municipal and cooperative utilities, we similarly believe that the value of real-time data lies in the actionable results from the delivery of data. Our distributed computing capability at the edge of the network, which is embedded in our communications modules, empowers our utility partners to integrate value driven applications that strengthen the connected grid and improve operating efficiency and reliability.”