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Marketing the smart grid to support growth

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The growing number of smart grid installations throughout the country is enough evidence that smart grid advocates are doing an acceptable job of driving home the benefits of a modernized grid, and marketers have also been actively working to spread this information more.

An area of marketing that has yet to takeoff, however, is the way advocates are selling large smart grid packages to utilities, customers, regulators, municipalities and lawmakers, according to The Energy Collective. For the smart grid to truly flourish, marketers will need to convince these entities, which have at times shown to be skeptical, narrow-minded or all out unwavering in their stance on how the electric industry should be run.

The shortfall in convincing these bodies can be chocked up to many reasons, and because there is no uniform strategy for selling the benefits of the smart grid, headbutting abounds among smart grid advocates over how to best sell new smart grid technologies.

According to the media outlet, the smart grid had a promising start in large part due to its allure as the future of power generation, transmission and distribution. Not only does it sound high tech, but it has real-world applications that affect both utilities and customers. Still, the good start to the smart grid rollout does not guarantee a sustainable push for modernized infrastructure. To this end, when anyone - especially government regulators - ask what should be done to support smart grid deployments, advocates can arm themselves with a few key statements.

First, standards must be set. Establishing standards is crucial for competition, and until utilities and vendors are clear on the disparate technologies and integration processes, pumping investments into new devices will be a risky endeavor. These standards should be developed quickly to foster smart grid technologies innovation in time to beat rival countries such as China, however, it is equally important to spend the necessary time drafting standards that are based on the needs of the industry, the news source stated.

Smart grid advocates can also support development of new projects by clearly establishing who is responsible for what when it comes to smart grid management. This mostly concerns the use of data, which is owned by consumers, but is handled extensively by utilities and third parties. This will create a need for enhanced cyber security to keep utility data safe.

SUBNET's large suite of products cover all essential smart grid deployment factors, ranging from easy and efficient device integration to data management and security.

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