Rick Cowles' Web site is the clearing house for information on electrical utilities and y2k. As time goes on, his site gets more pessimistic. Here is what he writes on his home page.
* * * * * * *
Why is it taking the electric utility industry so long to "get it"? Why is the industry taking so long to grasp the magnitude of the Y2K effort, and get down to the business of making some actual progress toward remediation? . . .
As of the beginning of 1998, there's roughly 700 calendar days left to fix the Year 2000 problem in mission critical systems. For the most part, electric companies still seem to be engaged in debating whether or not an issue truely exists. . . .
The "party line" of the industry remains: everything's OK, this isn't a big deal, we'll get it fixed. However, everyone I've personally interviewed in the industry who is knowledgable about Y2K, and who will speak off the record, is scared to death. Words like "5 alarm panic", and "not a snowball's chance in hell" come immediately to mind. . . .
Itís time for the non-IT sector of the electric utility business to get out of denial, and start understanding and accepting the scope of this problem. The Year 2000 issue within the electric utility industry is so much deeper than financial control, customer service, billing, and load forcasting systems. This problem has the potential to cut to the core of your business: generating and distributing power. If your company can not generate power, it canít generate revenue, either. If your company can not distribute the electricity it buys or generates, it canít distribute quarterly dividends. . . .
As Ed Yourdon states in his book, Time Bomb 2000, "...reliable electrical supply is the most basic lynch pin of a civilized, modern society." Nothing works without it. . . .
Can it be done in the time remaining? Is it worth your time (and possibly career exposure) to consider the issues and sound the alarm bells within your own company? That is up to each electric utility representative visiting this site to decide. A lot of lives are riding on that decision.