Phil Davis

Phil Davis

Over 35 years, I've worked for and with American utilities designing programs to inspire customers to be more aware and more efficient. Early on, I worked with a team from DOE and others to invent the home energy audit. Ultimately, I became Chief Operating Officer of a consulting company with 750 professionals, all devoted to the same thing, but for commercial and industrial clients as well. That matters because the experience taught what C-suite decision makers need to be effective, and how to develop solutions to support that goal. Academic training in economics may seem an odd way to enter a field dominated by engineers, but it has value. Both professions love complex models, and they use computers in new and novel ways. Economics reminds us that true efficiency usually involves money - keeping as much as we can. Also, it offers strong insights on why people make the decisions that they do. So my take on the electric industry and the evolving smart grid is a little different. I serve on some standards bodies, NIST and OASIS, and often am the wet blanket in discussions around carefully crafted proposals that make everyone happy except customers. After all, I have to come home to a wife that likes to be comfortable and kids that like electrically powered toys. My service on the board of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning takes me away from the world of energy and into that of struggling families, and the small businesses and agencies that seek to help their preschoolers. It's a reminder that the grid is a key foundation for all advanced societies and therefore a sacred trust.

Trends in Utilities Part 3: You’ll need Customers for a Virtual Power Plant

What do Smart Homes, Smart Cities, Microgrids, the Internet of Things, New York’s REV docket, Demand Response, Big Data, and Transactive Energy have in common? All are required for the… Read more »

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Demand Response by Any Name

Would you buy a car named “Drinks Gas, Turns Wheels, Spews Fumes”? Well, maybe, if you’re an engineer; otherwise “Cobra” does a much better job firing the imagination and generating… Read more »

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Demand Response IS Supply Chain Management

Let’s acknowledge Demand Response for what it really is: the premier tool for supply chain management of electrons. Really? I know. DR came into its own by its use in… Read more »

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Demand Response is Bigger than You Think

If you’ve been in the Demand Response Business since, oh, 2000 or so, it seems old hat. Never mind that Telecom deregulation took decades to deliver on its promises or… Read more »

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Energy Efficiency: Better Lighting? Lower Bills? BAH!

Starting now, let’s admit the folly of energy efficiency. It’s too specific and too prescriptive. Energy efficiency is a rather narrow component of overall efficiency which properly is measured in… Read more »

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Stability is a Stress Free Word

“Stability” is a stress-free word. This is especially true for anyone involved in managing the power grid at any level. This includes medium voltage network operators, who like their systems… Read more »

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There is no TEAM in SMART GRID. Five E’s can change that.

During my college years, I earned money selling encyclopedias door-to-door. Did pretty well, too; so well that a competitor offered me a job representing a far more familiar brand. This… Read more »

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Distributech: Learn, Experiment, Do

The curtain is closed on the largest and most successful Distributech conference in its history. At last count, there were 9,823 registered attendees with an additional 400 registered for the… Read more »

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What is Smart Grid? Distributech wants to know.

The just concluded Consumer Electronics Show was a massive showcase of cool new ways to use electricity. It is unlikely the attendees and exhibitors thought of it that way, though… Read more »

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