American Public Power Association and SmartEnergy IP Focus on the Importance of Smart Technology Planning and Investments to Improve Customer Experience and Communities
Last week the American Public Power Association and SmartEnergy announced the release of a new whitepaper called “Creating a Smart City Roadmap for Public Power Utilities.”
The paper provides a roadmap for cities and utilities considering implementing a smart city program, offering guidelines and recommendations for public power utilities, while recognizing that each utility is as unique as the community it serves. The paper also lays out key questions to consider in the process of implementing a smart cities program, including which stakeholders to include in the planning, which materials to develop to support the project, and other key operational considerations.
Key takeaways include:
- The definition of “smart cities” is not universally agreed upon. The Association defines a smart city in the whitepaper as a city that betters the lives of residents and businesses through mindful investments and deployments of advanced technologies.
- Public power utilities need to engage in conversations early in the process to make sure there is proper coordination, as well as to ensure their interests are not superseded.
- There are risks associated with utilities not engaging with the public and private sector on smart city initiatives.
- In a smart city environment, the public and private sectors must align, and stakeholders, which at times have opposing interests, must communicate and coordinate with each other.
- Public power utilities must take a proactive role in shaping the smart city vision for their service territories.
“Public power utilities play a unique and important role in smart city efforts,” said Paul Zummo, the Association’s director of policy research and analysis. “This roadmap serves as a first step in educating public power utilities about how they can be leaders in smart city efforts as part of their transformation to utilities of the future.”