This issue highlights the impact of the 2016 presidential election on the future of utilities.

Dear Clients and Friends,

This quarter’s newsletter comes at a crux in our country’s political history. The outcome of the 2016 presidential election will impact stakeholders from all sectors of the energy industry -- from oil and gas production, to electricity generation to transmission and distribution.

A Clinton presidency is expected to bring increased regulation and higher adoption of renewable energy. Secretary Clinton has applauded the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, and has a goal of making America “the world’s clean energy superpower". She opposes the Keystone pipeline and has proposed cutting oil and gas subsidies. And, while she supports fracking, she would like to see it regulated more heavily to improve safety conditions and reduce environmental impacts. Meanwhile, Trump has promised to focus on making America energy independent through sustaining the coal industry, supporting construction of the Keystone pipeline, and lifting restrictions on oil and gas companies to expand permitted drilling zones.

The team at West Monroe has given considerable thought to what the future holds for America’s utilities contingent on the outcome of the presidential election. Our consultants are on the frontlines of utility transformation and have developed tactics to help utilities prepare for a changing regulatory landscape, new technology challenges, and increasing customer expectations. Our pieces for this issue of the newsletter are centered on a central theme of Utility of the Future.

In his article, “The Missing Piece in California’s Electric Utility Reforms,” Paul Augustine analyzes the progressive energy initiatives occurring in California and offers actionable insight to create an overarching vision for DER adoption based on actions taken in other states.

Sam Uyeno and Jack Winter, both members of our Energy & Utilities Practice, have focused on methods for improving the customer experience within utilities. Sam explores the disruptions facing utilities and provides insights on how they can meet these challenges while improving relationships with their customers through the use of digital technologies. Jack has written about how utilities can develop a “North Star” strategy to provide a sustainable platform for company changes that enables transparency to both employees and customers.

Pete Mulvaney and Ganesh Krishnamurthy, leaders in our water practice, have collaborated on an article that analyzes trends and challenges impacting the water industry. The piece discusses how fragmented watershed management introduces challenges to managing water quality, and provides an overview of solutions to successfully manage water quality data in the future.

I hope you find these articles thought provoking and useful as you look to the future. But what we would really love is your insight -- tell us where you think the utility industry is headed. Please fill out the short survey and we will share the results with you later this month.

Best regards,

Tom Hulsebosch
Senior Managing Director - Energy & Utilities

Utilities are beginning to change the ways they interact with customers, the products and services they provide to customers, and the control they offer their customers. The customer experience is a visible outcome of the utility’s commitment and investment to customer engagement, care and service.