Sempra Energy Heads the List of Top 25 Smart Grid Utilities

Sempra Energy Heads the List of Top 25 Smart Grid Utilities

Sempra Generation's El Dorado Solar project near Boulder City, Nev. — Image courtesy of Sempra Energy

Sempra Energy leads the list of the top 25 smart grid utilities in the first ranking of its kind conducted by IDC Energy Insights and Intelligent Utility magazine.

Three California firms, including Sempra, and two Texas companies claim the top five spots in the list of the most intelligent utilities in the United States -- energy companies that are working to modernize the electricity grid to increase intelligent communication, efficiency and capacity throughout the system from points of generation to points of consumption.

The leading five companies are in descending order: Sempra Energy of San Diego; Austin Energy in Texas; Edison International headquartered in Rosemead, Calif.; Oncor, based in Dallas; and PG&E Corp., which is based in San Francisco.

The inaugural UtiliQ ranking is based on a review of company performance. Here's how IDC Energy Insights and Intelligent Utility describe the five metrics that were used:

• Productivity: An intelligent utility is an efficient utility (measured by revenue per employee).

• Renewable energy: An intelligent utility has a commitment to renewable energy as part of its resource portfolio (measured by renewable energy sales, renewable energy customers and renewable capacity).

• Smart initiatives: An intelligent utility makes investments in developing smarter grids (measured by smart meter deployments and other smart grid projects).

• Demand response/energy efficiency (DR/EE): An intelligent utility allows consumers to manage their energy usage and costs (measured by the availability of energy efficiency, demand response and load management programs).

• IT investment: An intelligent utility invests in information technology to enable business process improvement (measured by IT spending as a percent of revenue and on a per employee basis).

The utilities were scored in each category on a four-level point system in which 90 to 104 points is considered performance of "normal intelligence;" 110 to 119 points falls into the "superior intelligence" band; 120 to 140 points, the "very superior intelligence" tier; and more than 140 points is deemed "near genius."

None of the utilities scored fewer than 100 points in any review area and seven attained the highest score awarded in this year's assessments -- 179 points -- in the category of smart initiatives.

Here's the UtiliQ chart showing how the utilities fared in each category:



Intelligent Utility magazine's article on the ranking provides further information on the process, as does the Energy Insights site.

Sempra Generation's El Dorado Solar project near Boulder City, Nev. — Image courtesy of Sempra Energy.

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