The next generation utility business model — what you need to know

The utility industry is one that prizes stability.

Throughout the 20th century, reliable load growth and monopoly status allowed utilities to electrify the entire nation, while providing returns to shareholders.

But as power demand slows and consumers adopt more distributed resources, the industry agrees a change is needed.

In our recent 2017 sector survey, only 5% of utility professionals said their business model does not need to evolve, while 90% said they are exploring new business opportunities around DERs.

Though appetite for change is present, a clear menu of options remains elusive. Respondents indicated a variety of preferences for business model reforms, and differences in state regulations mean the scalability of solutions is limited.

How, then, should the sector approach this “utility of the future” concept? Our first Utility Dive Spotlight offers a slate of approaches, outlining the industry evolution in a number of states and utilities. Here’s what’s happening.

  1. Primer: Technology, consumer sentiment push utilities to new business models

    The move to a cleaner, more distributed energy system is pushing wholesale changes to how utilities make money and plan their power grids. Read More >>

  2. The top 5 states for utility grid modernization and business model reform

    From expansive sector redesigns to step-by-step DER dockets, states across the nation are rethinking the grid and how utilities make money off it. Read More >>

  3. Pushed by REV, ConEd tests new utility business models in New York

    The nation's largest city is the proving ground for a slate of REV pilot projects aimed at modernizing operations and diversifying revenue. Read More >>

  4. How California wants to align utility revenue models with DERs

    A new CPUC proposal puts forth an innovative framework for utilities to earn a rate of return on DER procurements. Read More >>

  5. 'Million rate bases': TFC makes the case for a new IOU business model in Hawaii

    A fledgling holding company wants utilities to connect their customers with distributed resources — and earn a rate of return for doing so. Read More >>

  6. Zibelman exit interview: How the New York REV is paving the way for transactive energy

    As she prepares to leave her post, New York PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman says the REV docket is well on its way to transforming utility operations. Read More >>

  7. Why utilities don't think Trump will stop the clean energy transition

    The next generation utility business model will rely on a cleaner, more distributed energy system regardless of what happens in Washington, according to our new 2017 State of the Electric Utility Survey. Read More >>

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Filed Under: Generation Distributed Energy
Top image credit: Flickr; Walmart