A list of the top 25 intelligent utilities, the inaugural UtiliQ ranking of U.S. electric utilities, has been released by IDC Energy Insights, in collaboration with ‘Intelligent Utility’ magazine. The ranking was primarily developed to make a distinction between the “smart grid hype” of recent times and the reality of the situation, giving utilities a platform to benchmark their intelligence and measure progress against their stated goals and objectives.
The evaluation process involves a framework made up of five quantifiable intelligence metrics: productivity, renewable energy, smart initiatives, demand response/energy efficiency, and IT investment. By using these metrics it is possible to measure a utility’s efficiency, commitment to renewable energy, investment in developing smarter grid technology and other customer and investment improvements.
Each utility was assigned a score for each metric, and were then stack-ranked based on their overall average score. As a result of this process, the top 5 intelligent utilities are:
1. Sempra Energy, headquartered in San Diego, California
2. Austin Energy, headquartered in Austin, Texas
3. Edison International, headquartered in Rosemead, California
4. Oncor, headquartered in Dallas, Texas
5. PG&E Corporation (Pacific Gas and Electric Company), headquartered in San Francisco, California
As it is a relatively new standard, the UtiliQ ranking is planned to evolve over time encompassing a broader scope and evaluating metrics with relevancy to the rapidly evolving industry.
Utilities who wish to make it onto the list or improve their position should focus on strategies that drive company cultural change and improve processes for both “lean” and “green,” and also ensure that they make intelligent technology investments.