Electric Industry News

By Laura D'Alessandro
APPA Contributing Writer
May 1, 2017

Even before smart meters, the utility industry was swimming in data about its customers. Now that data is flowing in much faster — every three seconds for some utilities, depending on their technology and software.

This much data benefits the utilities themselves, and others too. App developers are lining up to get their hands on anonymous utility user data. ComEd was recently given the green light by Illinois regulators to share data if customers opt in. The information is vital for building business lines that support the utility of the future.

By Amy Thomas, Government Relations Director, American Public Power Association

Cybersecurity has dominated the news lately — alleged Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, WikiLeaks, massive retail data breaches… the list goes on.

Public power and all electric utilities take very seriously their responsibility to maintain a strong electric grid. As the grid evolves, unfortunately, so do threats to its integrity. The threat of cyber attacks is relatively new compared to long-known physical threats, but an attack with operational consequences could occur and cause disruptions in the flow of power if malicious actors were able to hack the systems that control and connect to our nation’s electricity infrastructure at any level.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know about cybersecurity and the electricity industry: