Andres Carvallo and Austin Energy recognized by Energy Central
Energy Central and Intelligent Utility Magazine Wrap Up Knowledge2011 Summit Top utilities recognized for knowledge, innovation, technology, excellence and intelligence.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE— AURORA, Colo. — Nov. 21, 2011 — Knowledge2011 Utility Executive Summit wrapped up last week in Amelia Island, Florida. The summit, presented by Energy Central and Intelligent Utility magazine, joins leaders from top investor-owned, municipally owned and cooperatively owned utilities for two days of interaction and collaboration.
Eighty-six of the nation's senior customer service, operations, and information technology executives gathered at this year's summit to share knowledge and strategic insights regarding common challenges. In addition, several were recognized for their outstanding performance and dedication to furthering the industry as a whole.
Three electric utility executives took home key industry leadership awards at the 6th annual Knowledge, Innovation, Technology, and Excellence (KITE) Awards gala dinner. Energy Central and Intelligent Utility recognized:
Reid V. Nuttall, CIO, OGE Energy Corp, CIO of the Year
Paul Lau, Assistant General Manager of Customer, Distribution and Technology, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Operations Leader of the Year
Gregory Knight, Division Vice President of Customer Service for Regulated Operations, CenterPoint, Customer Service Leader of the Year
"We are pleased to recognize the distinctive leadership of our honorees," said Kate Rowland, editor-in-chief of Intelligent Utility magazine. "The immense talent throughout the industry provided us with some difficult decisions this year, but these three individuals clearly rose above the crowd, moving their companies forward through strategic initiatives, measurable technology efforts, and innovative solutions that have met business results such as high efficiency, greater production, measurement and profitability."
Prior to 2010, KITE award winners were categorized as top performers in small (less than 1 million customers) and large (greater than 1 million customers) categories. Previous award winners under that structure include 2007's Robert Arnett, Cobb Energy, and Joe Locandro, CLP Group; 2008's Wanyonyi Kendrick, JEA, and Michael Carlson, Xcel Energy; and 2009's Andres Carvallo, Austin Energy, and Becky Blalock, Southern Company. In addition, James Eitsert, of Northeastern Rural Electric Membership Corp., and Paul De Martini of Advanced Tech, SCE, were recognized in 2008 for small and large utility technical innovation.
In 2010, the KITE awards panel changed the structure to better reflect the roles of contributors, calling out the categories of CIO, Operations Leader and Customer Service Leader. Honorees in 2010 were Mashvash Yazdi, CIO, Southern California Edison; Ben LaPianta, Vice President Distribution Grid Management, Toronto Hydro; and Michael Lowe, Associate General Manager, Salt River Project.
In addition, Intelligent Utility magazine in partnership with IDC Energy Insights developed UtiliQ, a unique project that cuts through smart grid hype to measure utilities' progress toward intelligent operation. UtiliQ rated 78 American utilities on operational efficiency, integration of renewables, smart-energy initiatives, demand response/energy efficiency programs and IT investments.
For the third straight year, San Diego Gas & Electric topped the UtiliQ survey of electric utilities, making it America's most intelligent utility. Following closely were two top alumni and two newcomers: PG& E Corp., Austin Energy, Pinnacle West Capital Corp., and Edison International.
These top five utilities ranked as "Near Genius," with IQs higher than 140. Utilities with IQs ranking between 120 and 140 were categorized as those with "Very Superior Intelligence". Most of 2011's top 25 utilities achieved "Superior Intelligence" ratings, with scores that fall between 110 and 119.
"While the smart grid is an exciting project, it generates hype," said Kate Rowland. "The reality is far more outcome-based. UtiliQ measures each utility's progress against five criteria needed for a reliable, affordable and sustainable utility. Scores compute into a three-digit IQ."
About Energy Central: Energy Central was founded in 1996 to satisfy the global power industry's need for a reliable, trusted information hub where executives and field representatives alike could share ideas and discuss concepts that could alter the future of electric energy. Energy Central provides groundbreaking research, insightful reports and analytics, advisory services, and original, thought-provoking commentary — in print, online and through well-attended events — on energy-driven topics such as utility business, smart grid, renewable energy, energy storage, transmission and distribution, generation and customer analytics.