Capitalizing on Our Strengths: Public Power’s Priorities
Since April 2014, Sue Kelly has been president and CEO of the American Public Power Association – the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. Earlier, she was the senior vice president, policy analysis and general counsel. Under Kelly’s leadership, the association has advocated on wholesale electric market issues, worked to strengthen cybersecurity awareness and resources for utilities and raised the profile of public power in Washington, D.C.
In 2018, electric utility customers will continue to adopt new ways of living and using electricity. Residential customers will increasingly use technology to control their electricity use. But that doesn’t mean utilities can necessarily expect to see increased demand.
Utilities must be prepared for increased electricity consumption because of new uses such as transportation, heating, and even cryptocurrency mining. And for flat or declining load because of increased energy efficiency and demand response.
We have known for a while that utilities can no longer stay in their comfort zone in front of the meter. The utility business model is changing along with customer expectations. 2018 will be a key year for public power utilities to move past being solely energy sellers and towards being energy partners and advisors.
Many commercial and residential customers want to know what their utility is doing to be environmentally responsible while remaining reliable and holding down costs. More industrial and commercial customers will demand clean energy supplies to meet corporate sustainability goals.