C3 Energy Chairman and CEO Thomas M. Siebel testified before the U.S. House of Representative’s Energy & Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), during today’s hearing on “The 21st Century Electricity Challenge: Ensuring a Secure, Reliable and Modern Electricity System.” Siebel addressed how technology innovation is reshaping the way utilities do business and how removing regulatory obstacles could accelerate an efficient, more secure, and more sustainable modern grid.
As the grid increasingly becomes sensored, an unprecedented amount of data are produced, which can only be addressed using the most state-of-the-art information technology. IT offerings have rapidly evolved to today’s innovative cloud computing models, including Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service. With these, come opportunities to leverage numerous capabilities essential to fulfilling the promise of the smart grid – continuous access to increased processing speeds and power, more flexibility and mobility, elasticity/on-demand surge capacity, and lower costs through scale. However, the U.S. regulatory treatment of cloud computing models has not kept pace to take advantage of this technology opportunity, and utilities are faced with undue consequences when selecting a cloud computing offering because the current rate recovery rules.