Stephanie Jamison is Global Utilities Practice Lead for Accenture.
2020 will always be remembered as the year that life as we know it changed, but it could also be an essential turning point for the utilities sector. In the wake of the ongoing pandemic, policymakers have recognized the need to kick-start both an economic and environmental recovery; to replace the gradual progress of the past decade with an urgent effort to create jobs and reach net zero emissions.
However, accepting that responsibility and delivering on those ambitions requires new perspectives, policy, and platforms. First, policymakers must appreciate the immense societal impact of building scalable, resilient, reliable utilities; that reducing emissions not only allows us to stretch resources, but also alleviates pressure on the healthcare system thanks to improved air quality — just one of the infinite examples from the sector.
Having understood these secondary benefits, policymakers must invest in the infrastructure and technology needed to make a new utilities system a reality; an investment that creates new job opportunities led by the increased integration of intelligent digital platforms.
Thankfully, the interviews that follow confirm that some of North America's leading utilities share this sentiment and confirm their collective commitment to leading the energy transition while ensuring the reliable delivery of new value to customers.