From Providers to Partners, These are the Energy Utility Companies of the Future

Supply-driven business models will evolve to include customer-centric and technology-enabled services, according to new Frost & Sullivan's research

Nov 30, 2015, 03:00 ET from Frost & Sullivan

LONDON, Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The traditionally strong-performing electric utility industry is undergoing tectonic shifts as European Union directives open up markets to new competition and promote the use of distributed renewable energy sources. Subsequently, many energy utilities are rapidly changing strategies to source out viable revenue streams, hunting further along the value chain for opportunities to develop novel business models and ensure survival.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, New and Future Business Models for Energy Utilities (, finds that the conventional utility business model of a pure play, centralised power producer providing electricity will soon become extinct. This is altering the course of the energy utility markets, especially in Europe, North America, Japan and Australia.

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"The energy utility revenue model will gradually switch from electricity production and distribution to customer-centric solutions that include an array of services including energy management," said Frost & Sullivan Energy and Power Systems Consulting Director Thomas Houareau. "Most utilities leading the change in business model innovation are now positioning themselves as 'energy partners' rather than electricity providers."

Utilities will have to overcome several obstacles in order to tide over changing market conditions. Inefficient and old legacy infrastructure is increasing operating costs. Stricter environmental regulations create an additional cost challenge for utilities looking to stay in the business.

Utilities must strike a balance between legacy and new models, managing existing assets from the centralised power model while designing advanced products and services to cater to the new energy world. As a survival strategy, utilities need to build flexible operational systems that can adapt to varying power demand and supply dynamics across the grid.

"Moreover, the ability to integrate smart products and solutions within existing portfolios will help power utilities draw closer to the customer and deliver wider choices to the mass market," added Houareau. "Utilities should therefore invest considerably in information and communication technologies in order to capture opportunities in the smart energy world and support the transition to pioneering business models."

New and Future Business Models for Energy Utilities is part of the Energy & Power Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan's related studies include: Global Power Plant Services Markets, A Changing Global Landscape for the Power Equipment and Construction Market, and Rise of the Prosumer. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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New and Future Business Models for Energy Utilities

Chiara Carella
Corporate Communications – Europe
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan