Raising Awareness Case Study
Raising Awareness about Smart Grid Technology

The Challenge

The Alectra Utilities (formerly PowerStream) Smart Grid Strategy is aligned with the company’s mission statement and annual operating plans. The Strategy aims to develop a modern electricity distribution system that delivers electricity more efficiently and cost-effectively, helps customers to better manage their electricity use and integrates more renewable energy into the grid.

Alectra Utilities recognizes it has an important role to play in helping its customers, shareholders and employees to understand the benefits — and the value — of these new technologies.

The Solution

Beginning in 2010, Alectra Utilities began to test Smart Grid technologies on its distribution system through a series of demonstration projects, including:

  1. Electric vehicle (EV) battery technology that demonstrates the battery’s ability to supply power during peak times

  2. Home area networks that enable homeowners to see how much electricity they are using in real-time and provide them with the opportunity to change their consumption patterns

  3. Digital fault indicators that demonstrate the use of existing smart meter infrastructure to locate faults on the distribution system in real-time, enhancing the Alectra Utilities System Control Centre staff’s ability to restore power faster.

Alectra Utilities has plans to continue evaluating these new technologies and to communicate the results to stakeholders, including their benefits, shortcomings, associated costs and ultimately the value they hold for customers.

At industry meetings, senior executives routinely share Alectra Utilities' overall Smart Grid strategy and outreach plans. They attend conferences and forums to discuss their findings with researchers and their peers; they have also established partnerships with colleges, universities and industry to stay abreast of new developments. They have produced a series of case studies like this one, for each Smart Grid technology, as a way of reporting back on their investment to a wide audience. They also actively use social media and other communications channels to increase customer awareness and enhance customer relations.

The Benefit

Best-in-class performance:

Alectra Utilities is committed to providing value to its customers and shareholders through the efficient use of its assets. The implementation of Smart Grid technologies is one of the areas that will allow Alectra Utilities to deliver on this vision.

Partners with the community:

Community engagement is an important aspect of community-building, and Alectra Utilities' history is one of meaningful involvement in issues of local importance to the communities it serves. Helping people to understand Smart Grid technologies is consistent with Alectra Utilities' tradition of community-building.

Raising Awareness Case Study (660KB PDF)