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Councilmember Berliner Asks Public Service Commission to Incorporate Utility 2.0 into Reliability Improvements
  • Release ID: 13-060
  • Release Date: 3/5/2013
  • Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939 or Delphine Harriston240-777-7931
  • From: Council Office
In a formal pleading filed today, Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner has called on the Maryland Public Service Commission to broaden its ongoing effort to improve reliability by leveraging the investments to be made by Pepco into a technologically advanced, sustainable, more reliable, and consumer driven model of power distribution sometimes referred to as “Utility 2.0.”

“The Commission is now aggressively pursuing significant improvements in reliability, and Montgomery County residents will be better served as a result. However, the Commission needs to leverage and integrate the substantial investment that will be made on reliability improvements into a reinvented, radically different kind of distribution system suitable for the 21st century,” said Councilmember Berliner, Chair of the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, and Environment Committee.

“Our current grid is not only an unreliable relic of the past, it is wasteful, environmentally harmful, and economically draining. We need a new system that would make Steve Jobs proud. That will require bold changes in the conservative culture of utilities and regulators alike. The technology exists. It is the institutional barriers that must be overcome to put consumers in control and to create a much more reliable, cleaner, and energy efficient grid,” said Councilmember Berliner.

Microgrids are at the heart of the reinvented grid. Councilmember Berliner recently toured the FDA’s microgrid, which has virtually never lost power due to weather, produces less carbon emissions, is more efficient, and generates net revenues for the government by selling power into the grid. Critical elements of Utility 2.0 also include major infrastructure upgrades such as smart switches and undergrounding; distributed clean energy like solar and biogas; smart meters and other home automation tools that reduce energy use; and dynamic pricing, which allows customers to respond to real time price signals and fosters continued innovation.

“The Governor’s Reliability Task Force and the forthcoming pilot projects/ recommendations of the Energy Future Coalition are critical building blocks toward the future our state and county deserve. It is now up to the Commission to make sure that we realize the full potential of what Utility 2.0 has to offer,” concluded Councilmember Berliner.

A copy of the Councilmember’s formal pleading is attached.

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Last edited: 1/15/2016  

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