Duke Energy, Southern Co., Dominion
Steve Mitnick is Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly and author of the book “Lines Down: How We Pay, Use, Value Grid Electricity Amid the Storm.”
The chief financial officers of the three large southeast utilities (Dominion, Duke Energy and Southern Company) sat with us and took our questions. In this fascinating discussion, they demonstrate overall strategy is just as important in their work as the traditional number-crunching of a utility's financial leader. Part I of the discussion follows. Look for part II in August 2017’s Public Utilities Fortnightly.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What is your aspiration for where your company will be five years from now?
Duke Energy's Steve Young: We have to engage with our customers in a very different way. We have to be a true partner in how they efficiently and effectively use our product and our energy. We are at a point where technology enables us to interact differently. Our customers are interfacing with Amazon, Google, and Apple, and they expect different things from us.
Our industry's been based on building generation plants. Now, we have to develop a different set of assets, the grid, and deal with our customers in a different fashion. I think it's going to be a more customer-focused, more grid-oriented business than what we've traditionally seen in the past.
Dominion's Mark McGettrick: Dominion will focus on several areas. First, to continue to be able to provide industry-leading shareholder returns, as we have in the past, including having one of the top dividend growth rates in the industry.