Knowing that smart meters can produce an ongoing stream of data for utilities has prompted Illinois regulators to change the states outdated rules that currently discourage companies from investing in apps and software that would allow them to leverage this data. A report from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEE) pushes for states to consider changes that would give utility companies a financial incentive to encourage them to move to cloud computing. With smart meters becoming more and more prevalent, the potential benefits for customers and the electric grid grows as well. Danny Waggoner – one of the authors of the AEE report – says, “I think the best interest of the customer is to allow utilities to consider all of its options and equal footing.” Illinois Commerce Commission’s CEO Brien Shehan weighed in as well, saying that regulators need to “level the playing field” between hardwired software and cloud computing. He also said that “new IT models can improve the power transmission system and reduce the cost to utilities and customers.

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