Consistently setting, measuring, and updating quantitative performance metrics should be a central feature of any program.
Sonia Aggarwal is the Strategic Director for Energy Innovation and the Director of America’s Power Plan. Michael O’Boyle is a policy analyst for Energy Innovation and an expert in utility regulation for America’s Power Plan.
Public priorities for the electricity sector have shifted in recent years as rapid technological development enables a cleaner, more affordable, reliable, and safe electric system. But many utilities are not keeping pace.
Market forces are precipitously changing the role of utilities. Third parties are offering customers more choices and control over their electricity, through energy efficient products and services, demand management, self-generation like rooftop solar, smart electric vehicle chargers, and on-site storage. At the same time, the role of cost-effective utility-scale wind and solar is growing, as costs have plummeted in the last five years. New technologies and new grid configurations can increasingly deliver on traditional goals like affordability, reliability, clean energy, safety, and universal service. As a consequence of these new market forces and new options, the institutions governing the electricity system must also evolve.