Thanks to new, more common trends such as alternative energy, smart homes and energy efficient products and technologies, consumers are more focused on energy efficiency than ever before. This heightened focus created a shift in how businesses and consumers manage their energy consumption. In turn, utilities are rethinking their business models and how they stay competitive and respond to their customers’ changing expectations.
As the saying goes, the customer is king. Empowering energy consumers has served as a catalyst for change and innovation across our industry. Consumers are more engaged on the topic of energy, causing the conversation to move beyond just regulatory and industry insiders to a broader societal discussion. While this accelerates change across the energy industry, it also creates massive opportunity.
Future-proofing our industry hinges on customer centricity. If we focus on the customer and empower them with incentives like free energy audits, they will make smarter energy decisions. Those choices will, in turn, benefit our industry, by creating loyal, informed customers inclined toward sustainable energy consumption. CLEAResult’s 2017 State of Energy Efficiency report goes into detail on how customers are playing a bigger role, now more than ever, in what utilities do.
By leveraging performance incentives
Our industry wrestles with state-to-state regulation variations along with unpredictable national policymaking. And we’re not seeing a meaningful shift toward standardization anytime soon. There is, however, an opportunity to turn these regulatory challenges into profit.
Utility companies that operate under regulatory conditions that allow for performance incentive mechanisms can develop strategic plans for achieving incentive goals, and leverage their performance as a viable source of revenue. While there is the opportunity to tap into the performance incentives as a new revenue stream, there is also need for regulators and policymakers nationwide to move toward a new, revamped incentive model that takes account the innovations in the energy sphere.
Keeping tabs on new competitors
Advances in technology coupled with consumers seeking more control of their energy use are creating new challenges and new competition within our industry. Non-traditional entrants in the market create additional competition for high-quality talent to fill these future-focused energy jobs. Not only is the competition creating a battle in the talent pool, but it is causing market share battles as well. Utilities are now competing with new players, from tech companies like Google and solar developers like Solar City, to storage providers such as Tesla.
We must adapt to these changes in order to thrive in this evolving energy world, and energy efficiency can help. Industry experts expanded on these trends in our report, “Innovation Outlook: The 2017 State of Energy Efficiency.” Download the full report for free today.