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Project: T194700 #50/154

The pressure to reduce costs and improve utility operations is ever present. Innovative concepts are regularly presented, and each comes with the same question: “Does this apply to us?” This report examines some of the innovative techniques currently being evaluated by utilities.

Innovations are often presented from a vendor or service provider point of view with little evidence of effectiveness from utility experience. Therefore, there is a need for utilities to share experiences with each other.

Innovation also comes in the form of new ways of doing business and solving problems. It is no longer enough to do what has always been done.

Areas of utility operation that have the highest costs naturally have the greatest opportunity for improvement. This report starts with a review of utility operations for high potential work areas. When compared with available innovative opportunities, a few candidates are identified.

High potential opportunities are examined. Applications and limitations are reviewed and high-level implementation strategies are presented. This report identifies major areas where innovative techniques can be expected to provide benefit to the utility O&M cost structure.


Innovative techniques, O&M costs, trouble response and restoration, switching, inspection, maintenance, overhead systems, underground systems, wood pole testing, cable testing, distribution automation, automation of data collection, data quality, risk-based asset management, legacy policy, asset management, data and analytics, spatial integration, system hardening, resilience, vegetation management