by Bob Shively, Enerdynamics President and Lead Instructor
“…our customers are the same people who dropped their landlines for cell phones, then switched wireless carriers to get the latest, greatest smart phones. They cut their cable TV packages to the bare minimum and stopped renting DVDs from Blockbuster…”
~ Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly
In Enerdynamics’ seminar titled The Future of the Utility we explore scenarios on how
consumers may buy energy services in the future. Historically we think of buying our energy services from our local electric and gas utilities. That is, of course, if we even think about the commodity we buy as a service.
In some states, consumers have gained experience with energy retailers through deregulation of the commodity function, allowing service providers to sell gas or electricity directly to consumers. Although consumers probably haven’t thought much about future energy services, many energy insiders envision a future world where energy services may become as diverse and numerous as services for your cell phone or multimedia delivered via your internet connection.
If this does occur, a key question is who will provide these services? Will utilities transform themselves into energy service providers, will new large energy retailers emerge, or will existing consumer-oriented companies move into the energy space? In our seminar, we ask the following question:
For electric services you might buy in the future, from whom do you want to buy them?
- Your local electric utility
- An unregulated electric retailer
- Someone else (who?)
Responses typically look like this:
This suggests that utilities may fair best by finding ways to partner with consumer-oriented technology companies that are known and trusted by consumers. Who do you want to provide your future energy services? Share your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post!
 See “Will a Gulf in Energy Services Become the Next Digital Divide?” at http://blog.enerdynamics.com/2015/01/22/will-a-gulf-in-energy-services-become-the-next-digital-divide/