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Delivering Energy: Reliability & Technology

Delivering  Energy: Reliability & Technology (PDF)
Presented by:  Heather Cummins, Director of Business Process Improvement, Avista
How does energy actually get to you? We’ll explain how it all works and what Avista is doing to ensure a strong, enduring, and forward-looking delivery system that makes safe and reliable power possible.

Audience Polling Questions

Q. What is the most important aspect of electric service to you?
a. Price
b. Reliability
c. Customer Service
d. Renewable Energy Resources

Answer: A large majority of the Powering Our Future audience said reliability, but when we asked customers this question in 2009, 47% said price, followed closely by 41% who said reliability. What we do know is that both price and reliability are important to our customers, and depending on economic conditions and other factors, either could take the lead.

Q. About how much does a typical wood power pole cost?
a. $100
b. $300
c. $600
d. $1,000

Answer: Today, a power pole costs around $600. The reality of an aging infrastructure is that things cost a lot more to replace today than when they were first installed decades ago. For instance, a typical neighborhood substation transformer cost about $60,500 in 1965. Today, that same transformer would cost around $295,400. Avista invests hundreds of millions of dollars in our system every year to provide safe, reliable service.

Q. How long do you think it will take for the electric grid as we know it today to completely transition to a smart grid?
a. 5 years
b. 10 years
c. 15 years
d. 20 years or more

Answer: We believe realistically transitioning to what we know as a “smart grid” is at least 10-15 years out, however Avista’s work on making our system more efficient and making our grid smarter began several years ago. It’s critical we’re thoughtful about implementation of smart grid projects and technologies so that we consider all the factors involved and ultimately do what’s right for our customers.

Q. A smart grid… (Select as many as you like)
a. Is communication between all parts of the electric grid
b. Allows greater visibility into how energy moves across the grid
c. Allows customers and utilities to make more informed decisions using technologies like smart meters
d. Improves reliability
e. Saves energy and can reduce costs

Answer: All of these things describe what the smart grid has the potential to do. As in many industries, technology is the big game changer. Smart grid technology will make all the difference in our ability to gather information – to monitor and manage usage.

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