Technology is changing quickly, and these changes affect people and businesses in every industry.
The power and utility industry is no exception. In fact, the utility industry is actually undergoing a digital transformation. As the story unfolds before us, the future is uncertain. To simplify the transformation, let’s review what we know about it.
What are today’s most profitable business models?
The business models that worked 20 or even 10 years ago are not as effective as they once were. In the past, there may not have been many options for utilities. Today, most utility customers have options. They can choose the companies that best fit their needs and wants. Customers are savvier, and they expect more from companies in terms of services provided and green practices.
According to the Digital Utilities Roadmap, the four following business models will likely emerge:
- Renewable energy generation at near-zero (marginal) cost
- Distribution that is both smart and efficient—appealing to savvy customers
- Services that balance both supply and demand concerns
- Omni-channel distribution, to digital “prosumers” (smart consumers who want the best for their homes and businesses)
What are the best ways to meet today’s power needs?
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, we achieve reliable, sustainable power by choosing renewable energy. Customers are willing to choose wind and solar energy. They embrace these because they are an alternative to less clean and more expensive options. As such alternatives become more common, these power sources will become more reliable. Also, alternative energy will reach even those located in remote settings. The digital connection that brings people together will spread the word about the benefits of renewable energy.
Which technology trends today most influence the utilities industry?
Smart electronics and home products are more than just a convenience for consumers. These technological advancements have a big impact on the utility market. At their simplest, smart products make an impact on utilities because they create smart consumers. Consumers can now measure their utility usage. Consumers realize where their energy is coming from. Additionally, they have a better understanding of their utility bills, and they can make better choices regarding energy usage.
On a deeper level, the smart home and smart device industries provide Big Data for utility companies. This data may not have been available before, and it allows companies to adjust their offerings.
While the utilities story may never be “complete,” it has reached a major climax. It will be exciting to see how the industry responds. The major changes that are happening today will continue, and consumers will also continue to learn and grow.
From a consumer standpoint, this is a great time to be alive. Why not take advantage of all of the benefits that technology has to offer?
For more information on digital transformation for utilities, visit here.