Not much has changed for utility companies’ business models over the past century.
However, there are three major disruptors currently challenging utility companies, namely:
1. Decentralisation, which is changing where energy is created and how it is consumed. A famous example is Elon Musk’s Solar City, which features renewable solar roofing tiles that generate electricity at the local level.
2. Deregulation, which is allowing a new breed of disruptive competitor to enter the market with services and devices aimed at consumers, such as the broad range of home energy monitoring and control devices and applications.
3. De-carbonisation, which is driving the adoption of non-fossil fuel energy sources.
These three disruptors are enabling the rise of the off-grid consumer, typified by businesses and individuals who generate their own energy via renewable sources. Aside from the obvious loss of revenue, these consumers pose a further risk through their potential to sell surplus energy to their neighbours, further diverting the energy utilities’ revenue stream. In South Africa, for example, nearly all municipalities restrict consumers from selling their own generated access electricity back to the grid, and the infrastructure needed to enable such prosumers to supply excess power back into the grid is not yet in place.
However, utilities need to prioritise a journey of digital transformation that re-imagines their business models and re-engineers business processes. By embracing exponential technologies such as blockchain, machine learning, predictive analytics, Big Data, and IoT (Internet of Things), and integrating it all into a cloud platform, energy utilities can fast-track their digital transformation to rapidly adopt new business models and capabilities.
With recent advancement in technology, innovators are increasingly encroaching on the territory traditionally held by utility companies, and rapidly increasing customer expectations, the need to transform business models and processes has become urgent. It is critical that energy utilities prioritise their digital transformation, or they risk being left behind by an increasingly empowered and self-sufficient consumer market.
One of the related solutions Atlantic Power Exchange team of experts are ambitiously working on is developing the platform to allow easy consumer transformation to renewable green energy, profitable.
Follow us on this journey alongside our talented team as we improve our environment and begin making a positive impact on our energy future.
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