Report sees big uptick in use of ‘smart’ electricity meters
Scottsdale, Ariz. “Smart” electricity meters, which enable two-way communication between the meter and the utility, and may enable greater consumer control over consumption, are being deployed at an increasing pace, especially in North America and Europe.
According to a new study from ABI Research, the number of smart electric meters deployed worldwide will rise from a 2009 level of 76 million to about 212 million in 2014.
“As momentum for infrastructure renewal grows, a number of factors are driving the process,” said Sam Lucero, practice director, ABI Research. “High on the list are government regulators. In the United States, $3.4 billion in federal economic stimulus funding was directed to smart grid development in November 2009. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) directly encourages smart grid technology adoption by the states, and funds NIST’s [National Institute of Standards and Technology] efforts to develop a standards-based technology framework to facilitate smart grid adoption.”
Other drivers include: efficiency and reliability gains; environmental concerns; improved customer service; and increasing energy market competition.
Williams-Sonoma CEO retires, new leader named
SAN FRANCISCO Williams-Sonoma announced that Howard Lester will retire from his position as chairman and CEO and as a member of the board at the May 2010 annual shareholders’ meeting. He will continue, however, to assist the company in a consulting and advisory role through December 2012 and have the title of chairman emeritus.
Lester has led the company since 1978 when he purchased it from its founder, Chuck Williams. At that time, the company had four stores, a small catalog and $4 million in revenue.
Williams-Sonoma said that its board intends to appoint Laura Alber as the company’s CEO as well as a nominee to the board of directors. Alber joined the company in 1995 and was appointed to her current role as president in 2006.
Alber stated, “It is an exceptional honor to follow in the footsteps of one of the most highly esteemed executives in retail. Howard has been an outstanding mentor, and he is retiring at a time when the foundation of the company has never been stronger. We are confident in our direction and, together with the leadership team, ready to execute against those strategies that will grow and improve our businesses, deliver great products and services to our customers and enhance shareholder value.”
Costco honored for sustainability efforts
INDIANAPOLIS SustainableGrocer.com, an organization which manages sustainability practices within the food and grocery retail sector, has named Costco as the 2009 Sustainable Grocer of the Year.
Costco received the award for its sustainable efforts including energy reduction, offering a wide selection of organic food and its recycling programs. The company was also recognized for reducing packaging waste and working to reduce its carbon footprint through effective delivery systems which utilize the most efficient trucks available.