The southwest region saw more energy saved from utility energy efficiency programs than was generated from solar power, both distributed and utility-scale.
Utility's Role in Electricity's Future, Part II
Utility Execs Roundtable: We continued the conversation with execs from seven utilities in the Northeast who help lead their companies on future strategies
So, we all agree that change is coming and that there is an important role for the utility. But what does that mean specifically? In part II of our roundtable, led by Navigant's Energy Practice Leader, Managing Director Jan Vrins, we discuss how new products and services are expected to create new revenue streams for utilities, augmenting the (slowly) declining traditional revenue.
How does a utility change the way it interacts with its customers? How will utilities change internal operations beyond the traditional silos? And how will they stay ahead of the many competitors that want a piece of these new energy products and services?
From listening to these utility execs, it seems the death spiral is a myth. Utilities have already started to adapt to a new energy reality, where providing basic power to customers in a safe, reliable, and affordable way is only part of the business. Utilities will now orchestrate a more intelligent, distributed, and cleaner grid, offering new, enhanced, and individualized energy products and services to their customers. And they will be ready to compete.
- Jan Vrins, Managing Director, Energy Global Leader, Navigant
Jan Vrins, Managing Director, Navigant: The next question is what regional value streams of utilities may lessen, and what revenue streams may develop. It's good to take a longer-term view, because it won't happen overnight. But it will happen ten to fifteen years from now. Look to that period for your products and services, and where you will create value for your customers.
Jorge Cardenas, Vice President, Asset Management and Centralized Services, PSE&G: In New Jersey, policy is something we do our best to influence and then follow. We've been able to play in markets that in other states, utilities don't get to play in. Energy efficiency and solar, for example.
We've invested four hundred million dollars in energy efficiency in hospitals. If you own a hospital, you don't want to put three million dollars into a brand new efficient HVAC system. You want to put it into your operating room, so we do that for them.
We're allowed to earn our return on that. Another example is solar. Our saying is, "A solar farm on every landfill." We have many of those that are brownfields, and we'll go out and put solar over them. We've been very successful with those investments as well.
We continue to ensure that our patient capital finds a home in areas that allows us to participate rather than be kept out, consistent with state policy.
In addition, we're one of the very few companies in the country that has an appliance service business. We're in people's homes every day. It generates good will, and it's a