Electric Companies Advancing Cities

This information provided by Smart Cities Council North America.

Electric companies can help cities become more resilient and sustainable, making businesses more competitive and residents more comfortable.

Why this task force is needed

Smart, sustainable cities cannot thrive without reliable and resilient energy systems. Energy fuels our cars, subways, and trains. It heats and lights our homes, businesses and factories. It pumps our water and processes the food we eat. And energy powers the technologies that are essential to the success of a smart city.

Today there are obvious, inescapable synergies between electric companies and the cities they serve. Just as electric companies increasingly feel the pressure to modernize, so do city leaders. They are challenged by the stress that swelling urban populations put on aging and inadequate infrastructure – the electric power grid, municipal water systems, and transportation networks among them. To effectively overcome these challenges, city leaders and their local electric companies need to be at the same table, working together on smart solutions. The Electric Companies Advancing Smart Cities task force aims to make that happen.

Electric Companies Advancing Smart Cities is a joint initiative of the Edison Electric Institute and the Smart Cities Council. This program prepares cities and electric companies for successful collaboration in the use of smart technologies to improve sustainability, public safety, spur economic development, drive efficiencies, and enhance overall quality of life. Opportunities being explored include: smart street lighting, smart transportation, distributed energy resources, energy resiliency, and more. The joint initiative is organized around four goals:

1. Promote the benefits of electric company-city collaborations in advancing smart city initiatives.

2. Promote the role of smart technologies and the energy grid in providing solutions.

3. Share best practices.

4. Encourage state policies and state regulations that accelerate smart city initiatives.

We make this possible via a two-pronged approach:

Knowledge exchange: Provide a neutral meeting ground where cities, electric companies, researchers, academics, and technology companies can collaborate and share best practices.

Education: Educate city leaders, electric company leaders, technology company leaders, and other stakeholders about smart technologies, policy issues, business models, and the benefits of smart city collaborations.

How this task force will achieve its goals

The Electric Companies Advancing Smart Cities Task Force is holding three City/Electric Company Summit Meetings in 2018, culminating with a playbook to capture best practices and case studies.

  • Monday, May 7 at Smart Cities Week Silicon Valley, Santa Clara Convention Center
  • Thursday, August 16, hosted by CenterPoint Energy, Houston, TX (Register)
  • Tuesday, October 2 at Smart Cities Week Washington, D.C., Washington Convention Center

The summits feature facilitated discussions with cities, electric companies, and technology partners. The objective is to identify policy needs and partnership models for expanded electric company collaboration in smart city projects.

The summit meetings are a great opportunity for electric companies to more deeply understand the needs of their communities as they transition to digital government. Equally important, they will help communities understand the critical role electric companies can play and the regulatory changes that will be required.

The outcome will be a publicly-available report with case studies, consensus principles and guidelines. In the report, we will distill core principles and best practices and explore solutions such as new business models for sharing infrastructure, costs and data.

What we offer cities and electric companies

Membership in the Task Force is open to electric company members of the Smart Cities Council, to cities interested in urban transformation, and to interested parties from the academic, research, and non-profit sectors.

Electric companies that are members of the Edison Electric Institute receive free membership in the Smart Cities Council (normally $5,000 for electric companies). Benefits include free admission to the Smart Cities Week conferences, free admission to the Council’s Readiness Workshops anywhere in North America, access to case studies and best practices, access to a network of peers and experts, and the opportunity to join voices to effect change.

Click to register your electric company as a Member of the Smart Cities Council.

Click to register your city’s interest in attending a Summit meeting.

Who we are

Our task force members include many of the world's foremost authorities on smart grids, renewable energy, demand response, advanced outage management and other state-of-the-art technologies that smart energy systems require.

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Its members provide electricity for about 220 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to its U.S. members, EEI has more than 60 international electric companies with operations in more than 90 countries as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members. Organized in 1933, EEI provides public policy leadership, strategic business intelligence, and essential conferences and forums.

  • Co-chair: Becky Knox, Director, Consumer Retail Policy, Edison Electric Institute 
  • Co-chair: Robert Borzillo, Vice President of Smart Cities Business Development, Itron
  • Coordinator: Jesse Berst, Founder and Chairman, Smart Cities Council
  • David Graham, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, City of San Diego
  • David Chiesa, Senior Director Global Business Development, ‎S&C Electric Company
  • Ryan Houk, Smart City Program Manager, ‎American Electric Power
  • Carlos R. Lucero, Government Affairs, PNM
  • Christian Seidt, Director of Information Technology at Louisville Metro Government
  • Małgorzata Rejniak, MPA Candidate, SIPA, Columbia University

Click here to learn more about our Task Force Members.


In conjunction with the upcoming Smart City Week Conference in Santa Clara, CA on May 7-9, 2018, the Electric Companies Advancing Smart Cities Task Force is holding three City/Electric Company Summit Meetings in 2018.

May 7, Smart Cities Week Silicon Valley, Santa Clara, CA

Aug 16, CenterPoint Energy, Houston, TX

Oct 2, Smart Cities Week, Washington, D.C.

By registering your electric company as a Member of the Smart Cities Council or the Edison Electric Institute, you will be able to register and attend the Summit Meetings and receive save-the-date notifications for the events. To review the upcoming events, visit the Smart Cities Council Opportunity calendar. Go to the Type drop-down list and select Task Force.

Submit a Case Study

We will take learnings from the three Summit Meetings and consolidate them into a publicly available report with case studies. The case studies will be essential to our report and will substantiate our best practices and proposed solutions. They will help us both uncover the existing successful ways for cities and electric companies to partner and develop new and innovative smart city business models and the policies to support them.

For this reason, we want to hear success stories from early pioneers! Please submit a case study of a successful partnership you have engaged in or encountered.

In your case study, please describe how the smart city project(s) got started, including key partners, technologies, business approaches, and stakeholders. Please highlight your planning process, implementation challenges and barriers, and other lessons learned.

Your submission will be featured on the Electric Companies Advancing Smart Cities Task Force website and possibly in our report. We are looking forward to receiving your submission!

Click here to submit a case study. Submitting your case study online is preferred, but you can also download our case study form as a Word document.

Featured case studies


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