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Transparency key factor in smart grid success

By Donna Donnowitz
March 17, 2014

As both a benefit and a demand, any utility deploying smart grid solutions needs to consider their pricing transparency as a key factor. According to Greentech Media, transparent pricing will help optimize smart grid efforts while ensuring that consumers understand what they are getting out of the changes.

With smart grid deployments becoming more popular, utilities are leaping on the bandwagon without a second thought. However, there is considerable planning that has to go into such efforts, including ensuring the current grid infrastructure can handle new hardware such as smart meters and terminal servers. In order to optimize these efforts, expedite the transition and start reaping the rewards of a smart grid initiative as quickly as possible, providers may need to invest in additional hardware and services before they even get started. Tools such as serial to Ethernet converters and remote I/O solutions may play a critical role in future demands on the infrastructure, and should be incorporated early on to ensure success. But this is just one additional cost that firms might see from these efforts.

In order to optimize deployment strength and timeliness and ensure that consumers see the advantages, utilities need to be upfront about these investments and support the transparency necessary to deliver service quality improvements to their customers. According to the news source, this means providing real-time access to price and availability information so that consumers and the provider can make informed decisions about their electricity service and usage patterns.

This transparency can have several benefits. It can help utilities keep costs low by better managing power during peak demand times, while also explaining these issues to customers clearly so that they can address their own usage habits and help reduce the stress they place on the grid. Furthermore, it can outline specific demand per customer, so they can see exactly how they are using their energy and adapt accordingly. Future innovations will allow for automated appliance control and other initiatives that will serve to eliminate the middle step from consumers' worries, but for those that prefer to have complete control over their energy use, clear pricing and usage statistics will open up new opportunities for savings.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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