Front page headlines, consumer panic, political fallout, and a $5 million ransom paid. The attack on the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S. is focusing attention on the vulnerability of our energy infrastructure like never before. With people lining up at gas stations when facing only a few days of a shortage, imagine the reaction to the local electric grid being down for who knows how long. It’s beyond time for all municipalities and their utility departments to build out their cyber defenses.
Picture this: you’re in a packed boardroom (via Zoom, of course), your palms are sweaty, your knees are weak, your arms are heavy. You’re nervous. You have a great idea to make your organization a lot of money, but you don’t have any data to back it up, so no one takes you seriously. As GreatBlue Research explains, the answer is to test your idea with randomly selected people who fit your targeting criteria. You’ll get the answers you need to move forward with confidence. No more guessing!
In the world of electric and natural gas rate design, the tariffs of the past and today will not work in the future. In a presentation entitled, The Rates…They Are A Changin’, Apogee Interactive‘s Joel Gilbert P.E. and The Brattle Group’s Ahmad Faruqui, Ph.D. Economics, explain how the old ways of designing rates are clashing with customer expectations.
For years the security community has viewed internal resources as presenting the greatest cyber risk to an entity. In 2021, shortly on the heels of the much-publicized SolarWinds breach, as well as many other supply chain/third party cyber breaches, it can be argued that supply chain/third parties now represent a greater cyber risk than insiders. This poses an extremely difficult problem to address given the number of third parties providing technology services to critical infrastructure entities and the nature of the services provided by the third parties. AESI-US, Inc., a Hometown Connections cybersecurity partner, provides context and a 5-step process to address these risks.
In 2018, American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) looked closely at industry changes impacting the joint action agency and its members. The forecasted increase of PJM’s capacity and transmission charges throughout the AMP footprint were of chief concern. PJM is the regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity throughout 13 midwestern and eastern states, including the majority of AMP members. To help members offset these cost increases, AMP developed a behind the meter peaking project. The first phase of the project is integrating PowerSecure generation systems into 14 member utilities in Ohio and Pennsylvania, providing benefits to a total of 27 communities.
The U.S. energy sector is in the midst of massive transformation in response to the quest to reduce carbon footprints across all commerce and industry. This coupled with concerns over waste mitigation and sustainability has changed virtually everything in the supply chains. Even the boardrooms of major corporations and stockholders are demanding answers to long-term environmental agendas. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost everyone to rethink the way they do business, hastening the adoption of digital solutions to what was an in-person business model. A new report by Apogee Interactive analyzes the transitions over the past few years and how the customer engagement game has and will continue to change as the result.
To provide customers with several payment options, the Utilities Department of the Village of Jackson Center in Ohio accepts bank account direct and credit card payments. To ensure the security of customer information and thwart cyber intrusions overall, Jackson Center took advantage of cybersecurity services offered by its electric service wholesale supplier, American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP). With the help of an assessment conducted by AMP personnel, Jackson Center has developed a culture of cyber vigilance and addresses vulnerabilities through an effective step-by-step process that is manageable for a small staff.
It’s the perfect partnership! As Apogee Interactive explains, personalization and use of video to convey information are the two fastest growing trends in the marketing and advertising world across most every industry. This year, we are seeing the incredible effectiveness of combining these two powerful techniques to better connect utilities with their customers.
Remember when everyone had a Rolodex and every phone had a cord? Look how far we’ve come since then. Long gone are the days of manually entering phone numbers and survey answers. Now, we’re living in the Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) era.
Utilities in the United States are prime targets for cyber attack. Criminals are hijacking utility information systems and demanding ransom for their release. Nation states and other bad actors are rehearsing ways to interrupt utility services and throw the nation into chaos. Community-owned utilities of all sizes and structures must shore up their cyber defenses. This article presents the top 10 cybersecurity considerations for community utilities and their city departments.