Utilities face a number of daunting challenge stoday, from capital constraints to geopolitical concerns over carbon emissions, from aging workforce skills to declining energy demand. At the same time, the industry must exceed rising customer expectations efficiently and cost-effectively, while reducing economic losses from power outages and quality issues - events that currently cost U.S. utilities approximately $188 billion a year.

Many utilities are finding that the potentially transformational benefits offered by emerging technologies are already undermined by the limitations of legacy systems and infrastructures, which are neither designed nor equipped to integrate with new technologies to manage the two-way flow of power. The smart grid, against this background, has emerged as an effective way for utilities to address the impact of the aforementioned challenges in terms of the industry's three major business functions: power delivery, asset management and consumer experience.

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