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Understanding the New Energy Consumer

Unlocking value in the evolving energy marketplace.

Fortnightly Magazine - May 2011

the lens through which any energy provider views, assesses, and acts on each opportunity as it becomes an active player in the evolving energy marketplace.

Beyond the Meter

There’s no question that utilities and energy providers face major changes. Those changes include new, more sophisticated energy consumers, increasingly diverse consumer interactions, as well as looming challenges from non-traditional competitors—organizations with the data analytics expertise, customer service experience, and operational agility needed to successfully enter the utility market.

Irrespective of the specific set opportunities and challenges facing any particular utility, careful evaluation of its desired position in the beyond-the-meter market is paramount. In evaluating the current state of operations and selecting a future business model, a utility will likely need to challenge the organization’s traditional mindset and path. As part of the planning process, leaders need to be prepared to respond to key questions around the organization’s ability to address existing market and regulatory constraints and create new opportunities, as well as the current customer-facing organization’s ability to support new strategic aspirations. In determining the answers to these questions for the evolving energy marketplace, a utility must maintain focus and commitment to the critical outcomes that drive its business: cost effectiveness and operational excellence, revenue management, customer value and satisfaction, and demand management. The weighting of those outcomes may vary among providers, but each outcome plays a foundational role in re-evaluating traditional operating models and determining—and then building—the new capabilities that will be required to achieve the desired outcomes.

In the end, the energy providers that succeed will be the ones that understand energy consumers’ values, develop tailored products and services delivered through the appropriate business model, meet energy consumers in new places, and have disciplined analytics that enable agile business decisions.

 

Endnotes:

1. “ Retail Resurgence ,” Public Utilities Fortnightly , September 2010.

2. “ The Case for Customer Centricity ,” Public Utilities Fortnightly , November 2010.

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