Jude Canchola is the Manager of Residential Services with Owen Electric Cooperative, a small co-op in northern Kentucky with 57,000 members and 57,000 meters. He heads up a department of one, and handles any and all aspects of energy efficiency, where he performs energy audits and spends nearly 75 percent of his time doing energy advising. Owen Electric is involved in a number of state and federal grant projects that involve the smart grid.
Canchola was asked to take the smart grid online training by a colleague who heads the energy advising department at Owen Electric. He said that the course, Operation Considerations of the Smart Grid, covered quite a bit of material he didn’t know and he found the course very valuable in helping him better understand the smart grid. He said that his company has been installing smart grid meters for the last five years (they were the first utility in the state to do so), and while he had a basic understanding of the smart grid, he now feels better equipped to explain it to customers, thanks to this course.
Canchola said that the smart grid has already helped his job immensely. His energy audits are now highly detailed, and if someone has an unusual bill, he’s able to pinpoint exactly what’s gone wrong. In fact, there have already been several instances where people called complaining of high bills and the smart grid has helped him solve the problem. “As far as billing, energy use, load control, managing the electric bill, the smart meter will help us tremendously because it can do real time, time of day pricing. There’s so much more that I can offer to my member. And as a member-owned utility I’m a not-for-profit. When trying to help my member control their energy cost, the smart grid will help me tremendously with that.”
Overall, he said that the course opened his mind and really made him want to learn more about the smart grid. He said he’d be open to taking more courses in the future, and is particularly interested in the Smart Grid, Smart Customer course.