GreenBeat: Utilities eye their own ‘iTunes App Stores’ for Smart Grid apps

By Camille Ricketts in GreenBeat, November 19 2009

“Every utility will have its own version of the iTunes App Store,” said Andres Carvallo, CIO of Austin Energy, during this morning’s utility panel at GreenBeat 2009 in San Mateo, Calif. — essentially, every major utility, in order to be at the cutting edge of the Smart Grid, will need to have a full portfolio of applications that can help their customers trim their energy use and their monthly bills. This has become vitally important, especially for utilities operating in deregulated markets, like Texas, where customers can decide which energy vendor to use based on the breadth of services they provide.

Carvallo listed the many applications — some of which will be built by the utilities of themselves, some of which will be provided by third-party companies — that will be needed in order for utilities to become more reliable, and build cleaner, more efficient electricity transmission systems. These applications include home energy management monitors (ranging from Tendril to AlertMe to Google PowerMeter and Microsoft Hohm), as well as demand response programs, and mesh networking software made by companies like Trilliant and Silver Spring Networks.

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