Opportunities for Growth and New Services
Alan Feibelman leads Oliver Wyman’s North American utilities practice. Curt Underwood is a partner in the energy practice at Oliver Wyman, focusing on operations improvement, operations strategy and business transformation. Gerry Yurkevicz is a partner in the energy practice at Oliver Wyman, focusing on utility strategy, mergers and acquisitions, performance improvement, and transformation.
Over the past twelve months, U.S. utilities have had to deal with widespread damage to the electric grid as hurricanes wiped out service to millions in several states and Puerto Rico. Intense Nor'easters toppled power lines in the mid-Atlantic and New England. Ice storms ravaged the upper Midwest. Wildfires devastated parts of California.
Utilities also have been the target of cyber warfare by Russian hackers attacking the power grid. Simultaneously, three long-term trends — the 3-D's of decarbonization, decentralization, and digitalization — continue to play out, challenging the industry and transforming its economic model.
Meanwhile, power companies have a business to run. Customers, regulators, and government officials expect adequate supply, reliable and secure operations, environmental sustainability through efficiency and renewable power, and affordable electricity. Shareholders expect profits. Those are a lot of mandates to fulfill in a regulated environment amid disruption and crises.
Tumultuous times are providing opportunities for rate-base growth and new services. Regulated utilities need to challenge and change their DNA and culture to succeed in this evolving landscape.