New Utility Business Models Are Key to Energy Transition, New Rocky Mountain Institute Report Says
Article by PRWeb   
November 12, 2018 5:11am 
As seen in Benzinga
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Report focuses on 10 options for utility business model reform that respond to the evolving needs of customers, policy changes, grid resilience challenges, and the introduction of new grid-connected software and technology; five case studies accompany the report, providing examples of business model reforms in action.
ORLANDO, Fla. (PRWEB) November 12, 2018 Advancing efficient and equitable approaches to update the utility business model—motivated by emerging technological, policy and market conditions in the electric power sector—is crucial to the grid's transition to a more secure, clean and affordable customer-centric system, according to a new report released today. Five case studies illustrating various business model reforms in action accompany the report. In identifying, evaluating and encouraging innovation in business models, the report, Navigating Utility Business Model Reform: A Practical Guide to Regulatory Design, offers a menu of regulatory options for policymakers, utilities and electric customers to best support and manage the maturation of a 21st-century grid. The report was produced in a joint collaboration between Rocky Mountain Institute, America's Power Plan and Advanced Energy Economy Institute.
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Powerful trends are impacting the contours of the electric system, including growing policy demands for improved environmental performance, the increasingly widespread availability of distributed energy resources like rooftop solar and storage, more customer demand for energy choice and the need for strengthened resilience in the face of more extreme weather across the country. Navigating Utility Business Model Reform offers electricity system leaders and stakeholders 10 reform options to best respond to these pressures and support policy and regulatory decision-making.

To do so, Navigating Utility Business Model Reform seeks to establish foundational elements of different reform options, poses key questions to explore their applicability, identifies illustrative experiences for ideas and concepts and explores policy implementation options to help spur action.

"The grid is experiencing rapid changes in its shift to a 21st-century system, and electric utilities have a fundamental role to play in ensuring this transition strengthens resilience, improves environmental performance and protects the interests of customers while maintaining essential features of affordability and reliability," Dan Cross-Call, a manager at RMI and one of the report's authors, said. "This report offers a practical guide to industry leaders—regulators, utilities, grid operators, policymakers and policy influencers—on how to best engage with an increasingly decarbonized and distributed energy system, shepherding and managing this transition to maintain the fundamental role of utilities and achieve new policy objectives." The 10 reform options the report examines include revenue decoupling, platform revenues, performance-incentive mechanisms and multiyear rate plans, among others.
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