LAFLEUR: EVs, solar help smart grid visibility

Ohio IOUs maintain wait-and-see AMI strategy


Smart Grid Today

In addition to young consumers embracing smart grid technology, the smart grid in general is getting more visibility nationwide, FERC Chairperson Cheryl LaFleur told attendees at the National Summit on Smart Grid & Climate Change in Washington, DC, yesterday. The event was hosted by the Assn for Demand Response & Smart Grid with NARUC, the National Assn of State Energy Officials and DOE.

"I think it's much more in the popular imagination right now than it ever was, beyond the energy sector," LaFleur said. Utility customers are seeing more EVs on the road and, with the abundance of rooftop solar technology and the panels themselves being visible to the general public, they are more aware of options that involve the transition to smart grid, she added.

"People who don't think about these things [on their own] are seeing them, and we are seeing more acceptance of new technology," LaFleur said.

Digital meters and other smart grid technologies are increasingly taken up by some utilities, but the incumbent utilities in Ohio are slow to warm to the smart grid overall, Ohio PUC Vice Chairman Asim Haque told attendees at the event. "In the state of Ohio, all of our incumbent utilities are very resistant.

"It's really with the competitive retailers that we're seeing a lot of opportunity with smart meters. We are seeing these retailers … push to provide for young customers," Haque said.

"I very much think this is a generational issue. As these companies see the proliferation of technologies, and as some of our consumers in the state of Ohio start to understand what opportunities are out there for them, they're going to want to take advantage," he added.

Some customers in the state have only ever experienced getting a bill from the incumbent utility and they want the process to stay that way, Haque noted.

AEP Ohio is transitioning to a smart grid, we reported last year (SGT, 2013-Sep-16).

© 2014 Modern Markets Intelligence, Inc. IMPORTANT: This article was reproduced from the December 3, 2020 issue of Smart Grid Today with the limited permission of the owner. To view the full story on Smart Grid Today’s website, please visit

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