Utility Business Model Reform

Note from the editor

Utilities, regulators and advocates around the country are exploring new business models from updated rate structures to performance-based regulation.

A number of factors are spurring these changes, including the rise of distributed energy resources and a desire among states to align customer and provider needs while attaining certain policy objectives.

The following trendline examines these and other developments as the power sector undergoes a fundamental transition in how it operates and profits.

Larry Pearl Senior Editor

Hawaii finalizes utility regulation considered potential template for US power system transformation

Stakeholders agree the final performance-based regulation order from the state's regulators includes opportunities and safeguards that can be lead to a new regulatory paradigm.

• Published Jan. 19, 2021

Two barriers to utility and customer savings with flexible loads and how regulators can help

Utilities, regulators and load flexibility authorities say better distribution system control technologies and compensation are needed to increase use of flexible customer-sited resources.

• Published Jan. 6, 2021

​From Maryland to California and beyond, rate design innovations are boosting the energy transition

Success with time-of-use rates can allow utilities to start integrating more variable and distributed generation, leading to more sophisticated time-varying rates.

• Published Nov. 25, 2020

As conflict rises over utility DER ownership, a Duke Florida program could offer a way forward

Regulators must decide how to separate regulated and private markets as both see ownership of rooftop and community solar.

• Published Oct. 23, 2020

Possible hundreds of billions in US power sector securitizations spur ratepayer protection debate

Securitization can ease impacts of COVID-19 moratoria debt, stranded asset costs, and extreme weather losses, but bankers and regulators agree that customer costs need oversight.

• Published Feb. 22, 2021

Momentum grows for piloting Netflix-like fixed subscription rates, but not everyone's on board

A new flat bill concept can meet customer demand for simpler bills if smart technologies prevent abuse

• Published July 7, 2020

Green Mountain Power's pioneering steps in transactive energy raise big questions about DER's value

The Vermont utility's program will show what distributed energy resources are worth in customer-to-customer transactions

• Published March 4, 2020

How much — and how fast — will Colorado change its utility business model?

• Published Jan. 16, 2020

Green hydrogen gets real as utility business models and delivery solutions emerge

The fuel may be the only way to meet power system needs in zero emissions scenarios and the market signals to produce and use it are finally clear.

• Published March 2, 2020

Outdated business models are holding back greater renewables, DER integration: Enter DSOs

• Published March 13, 2020

The 2021 reformation of the utility business model

The rise of distributed energy resources and a desire among states to align customer and provider needs is driving a new business model for utilities. Discover the latest developments as the power sector undergoes a fundamental transition in how it operates and profits.

included in this trendline
  • Hawaii finalizes utility regulation considered potential template for US power system transformation
  • From Maryland to California and beyond, rate design innovations are boosting the energy transition
  • Possible hundreds of billions in US power sector securitizations spur ratepayer protection debate
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.