A Narrative Addressing the Greatest Challenge of Our Time
Matthew Futch is vice president of strategy and regulation at USGRDCO. He was previously vice president for U.S. retail regulatory strategy at National Grid. Before assuming his position at the utility, Matt was global policy director for the energy and utilities practice at IBM Corporation. For over a decade Matt has directed corporate-wide programs on energy regulation, policy and business climate for markets in ASEAN, Australia, Brazil, European Union and North America. Before entering the private sector, he worked as senior policy manager for two Governors at the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office.
Josh Freed is vice president for clean energy at Third Way. Josh previously served for more than a decade as a strategist for public advocacy (corporate) and political campaigns and was a senior staffer on Capitol Hill. Most recently, Josh was vice president at GMMB, a social marketing and advocacy firm, where he advised the senior leadership of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Before that, Josh ran the Washington, D.C. office and served as the chief policy advisor for Representative Rob Andrews, and was deputy chief of staff for Representative Diana DeGette, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The U.S. power sector is in an unquestionably exciting and challenging time. A confluence of public and private forces is reshaping energy markets and pressuring utility balance sheets. These same forces are creating an entirely new and faster cycle of change for the energy system.
Both the public and private parts of the economy are urging our industry to build a cleaner, more reliable, and customer friendly system in the most affordable manner possible. Despite these forces, our current trajectory indicates a slow, contentious, and expensive path. This painstaking and economically inefficient behavior is well documented.
The electricity sector is currently stuck in a false zero sum mentality between providers, technology companies, and policymakers of all political persuasions. This conflict-driven dynamic slows down investment, innovation, and the scale of transformation needed to meet our collective goals.
Communities that desire clean, reliable, and affordable energy deserve a simple means to acquire it. Whether that be through traditional channels, or new transactional relationships between providers and consumers.
In this first article of a series, we explore an alternative narrative based on three core operating principles: