A Message from West Monroe Partners

This newsletter goes into depth on effective portal planning, the future of demand side management, cyber security, and West Monroe's Smart Grid Assessment Profile.

Dave Tilson: Demand Side Management (DSM) and Customer/Stakeholder Communications
One important element of a successful energy reduction program is influencing customer behavior.  Why then, is the customer perspective often left out of the equation when designing a smart grid implementation?  Utilities must adapt to the changing role they now play with customers and the need to proactively inform and educate the community.   A well designed Demand Side Management strategy includes a continual and purposeful communication strategy to all stakeholders including staff, customers, and utility Commission/Council members to gain buy-in and participation.

One channel for providing messaging and customer participation in energy efficiency and demand response programs is a comprehensive web portal.  A web portal can help manage service costs while driving understanding and adoption of programs that help positively affect the load on your grid.

Continue reading here>

Ultimately the ability to save money and energy is a mutual action between utility and customer requiring buy in on both sides of the equation.  So what does DSM look like?  Take a look five years into the future of DSM here.

Nate Ulery: Cyber Security
As utilities expand their infrastructure, it’s imperative that the network and the data it holds remain secure.  As systems become less disparate and information more centralized, it’s becoming more challenging to remain compliant with the evolving NIST and NERC-CIP standards.  A properly implemented cyber security plan provides both a roadmap for compliance and a scalable action plan for the future.

At Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, West Monroe developed a comprehensive cyber security plan that not only provided an integrated solution of technology and business processes to secure REC’s smart grid; it is currently serving as a guide for future development. Additionally, the City of Naperville’s Department of Public Utilities engaged West Monroe to successfully produce a cyber security plan that met Department of Energy reporting requirements.

Interested in what you can do to secure your growing utility infrastructure?  Look for an invite to our upcoming cyber security webinar: How much cyber security is enough? During this webinar we’ll discuss common challenges, vulnerability and our cyber security maturity model.  You can pre-register for the webinar by clicking here.

See our cyber security offering here>

Tom Hulsebosch: Smart Grid Assessment Profile (S-GAP)
Before a utility undertakes any project, it is important to be diligent about the creation of a business case that takes into consideration everything that you know today and can help you understand the impact of identified risks.  Especially with smart grid and the investment required to implement, a solid business case showing the ROI for your stakeholders is key to setting expectations and determining the optimal smart grid roadmap.

Through our S-GAP methodology, along with experience and extensive database of estimated costs and benefits, West Monroe is uniquely positioned to maximize your smart grid business case.  Through our assessment, we can help your utility realize their smart grid future through a detailed roadmap and business case.  Furthermore, having this information will be very important in quantifying smart grid benefits to all your stakeholders, including your customers.

Read more about our S-GAP methodology here>