Impact of Information and Communications Technologies on Residential Customer Energy Services
This study analyzes the potential impact of information and communications technologies on utility delivery of residential customer energy services. Scores of U.S. utilities are conducting trials which test energy-related and non-energy services using advanced communications systems (e.g., hybrid fiber-coax cable or wireless radio networks). The cumulative investment by utility ratepayers and shareholders (and other equity partners) may soon approach recent funding levels for ratepayer-funded demand-side management (DSM) activities targeted at residential customers. Key drivers for these initiatives include the rapid innovation in and declining costs of information and communication technologies and utilities' desire to reduce operating costs and to provide enhanced services in order to retain and attract customers in emerging retail services markets.