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It is commonly thought that the average utility distribution system is 50 to 80% utilized on peak. Today, distribution utilization can only be measured at the distribution substation, and the utilization downstream of the substation is usually unknown. Optimizing the use of distribution assets and systems requires having accurate loading information for any weather scenario and at any point on the system. The basis for all distribution system loading is distribution transformer loading, which is the aggregate of individual customer loads. This article looks at a different methodology, called the Distributed Asset Optimization (DAO) model. The DAO model has been developed to provide an engineering basis for predicting hourly loading at any point between the substation and the customer. It works to integrate systems and process while improving process productivity and it facilitates better sharing of existing IT investments. The DAO model provides utilities with the best data available without installing meters on every distribution asset and the analysis tools to act upon the information.