IDC Energy Insights and Intelligent Utility Magazine Release 2009 UtiliQ Rankings ; Top 25 intelligent utilities are ranked based on performance across five quantifiable intelligence metrics

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – August 26, 2009 – IDC Energy Insights, in collaboration with Intelligent Utility magazine, today announced the inaugural UtiliQ ranking of U.S. electric utilities – a list of the top 25 intelligent utilities based on a detailed analysis of utility company performance for five different metrics. The ranking was developed to separate the "smart grid hype" from reality, and to provide a way for utilities to benchmark their intelligence and measure progress against their stated goals and objectives.

IDC Energy Insights and Intelligent Utility magazine define an "intelligent utility" as a company that applies information to energy, maximizing its reliability, affordability and sustainability from generation to end users.

The current ranking evaluates utilities based on their performance using five quantifiable intelligence metrics: productivity, renewable energy, smart initiatives, demand response/energy efficiency, and IT investment. These metrics measure each company's efficiency, commitment to renewable energy, investments in developing smarter grids, enablement of their customers to manage their energy usage and costs, and their investment in information technology to enable business process improvement.

"We evaluated the top 100 utilities in the U.S. based on quantifiable data. We know that many utilities are working hard to improve their intelligence, and our intent was to help them evaluate their efforts,” said Rick Nicholson, Vice President of Research, IDC Energy Insights, a market research and consulting firm focused on information technology developments in the energy industry. “UtiliQ serves as a validation for the companies that succeeded in topping the ranking, and for those who didn't place as high on the ranking as they would have liked, UtiliQ identifies the areas to improve.”

Each utility was assigned a score for each metric, and then they were stack-ranked based on their overall average score. As a result, the top 5 intelligent utilities are:

1. Sempra Energy, headquartered in San Diego, California

2. Austin Energy, headquartered in Austin, Texas

3. Edison International, headquartered in Rosemead, California

4. Oncor, headquartered in Dallas, Texas

5. PG&E Corporation (Pacific Gas and Electric Company), headquartered in San Francisco, California

"Given the emphasis on 'intelligent' we couldn't resist assigning the companies a 'utility intelligence quotient,' or IQ," said H. Christine Richards, editor-in-chief of Intelligent Utility magazine, a bimonthly magazine from Energy Central that explores the strategies and realities of delivering information-enabled energy and building a smart grid. “All of the top 25 utilities are working examples of utilities that are finding success within their investments in more advanced and greener technologies."

The UtiliQ ranking is an ongoing effort that will evolve over time, encompassing an increasingly broader scope and evaluating metrics with increasing relevancy to the rapidly evolving industry. Utilities that want to make the list or improve their position should focus on strategies that drive company cultural change and improve processes for both "lean" and "green," and also ensure that they make intelligent technology investments.

Mr. Nicholson concluded, "Looking ahead, we expect the top 25 utilities on the UtiliQ ranking to lead the transition as the utility industry begins to move from the current energy economy – characterized by heavy reliance on fossil fuels, lack of energy security, high environmental impact, aging infrastructure and passive consumers – toward a new energy economy that includes increased use of renewable energy resources, less reliance on foreign oil, lower environmental impact, a smarter grid and active consumers."

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About IDC Energy Insights

IDC Energy Insights provides research-based advisory and consulting services focused on market and technology developments in the electricity, natural gas, and oil industries. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of direct industry experience, IDC Energy Insights' research spans the energy value chain—upstream, wholesale, delivery, and customer service—providing independent, timely, and relevant analysis focused on key business issues. IDC Energy Insights serves a diverse and growing global client base, including electric and gas utilities, IT vendors, independent power producers, retail energy providers, oil and gas companies, equipment manufacturers, government agencies, financial institutions, and professional services firms. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more, please visit[].

About Energy Central

Energy Central, headquartered in Aurora, Colorado, and established in 1996, is the leading resource connecting professionals in the global power industry to news, events, databases, insight and analysis. Using web sites, research and analysis services e-newsletters, direct marketing channels, events and print publications, and employment services the company delivers critical business information to top executives, managers, leaders and industry influencers. For more information, visit[].