Rural electric experts to weigh in on changing utility landscape

Rural electric cooperatives, as well as “disruptive technologies” that affect them, will get a closer look during a Thursday panel.

The event, which includes Umatilla Electric Cooperative CEO Steve Eldridge, seeks to demonstrate ways in which electric cooperatives are “far ahead of the rest of the industry in the deployment of advanced smart meters,” according to a National Rural Electric Cooperative Association release on the event.

To that end, the discussion will address how utilities are now procuring large amounts of data on customer usage, how they can help members overcome barriers to energy efficiency and how social media is changing the small utility world.

Joining Eldridge are the NRECA’s Martin Lowry, Midwest Energy Cooperative’s Ernie Lehman and consultant Greg Boudreaux.

The Oct. 17 event starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Portland Hilton and Executive Towers.

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