West Monroe has identified six key issues utilities will need to confront as they enter the new decade.
The start of the new decade marks a turning point for the utility industry. While change has been constant for utilities in recent years, the pace is accelerating. The challenge to deliver safe, affordable, and reliable power while meeting public policy and regulatory goals for adopting new and innovative technologies is daunting. There is a growing urgency to embrace distributed energy resources (DERs), transportation electrification (TE), and grid modernization. Questions remain, however, about the role of utilities, customers, and third parties in meeting these challenges.

Utilities must also meet evolving customer expectations, update aging infrastructure, react to public policy and regulatory directives, and embrace disruptive technologies, all while keeping electricity prices affordable. The pressure on utilities to phase out antiquated field-area networks, including those that still rely on analog communications alone, can cost billions of dollars, with major implications for future operations.

This vortex of pressure and change is exciting and intense for utility officials and regulators. It’s decision time, and the choices made now will determine which utilities capitalize on the new opportunities and which become slow growth commodity businesses. To excel in this environment, utilities require quality talent with new skills. That means winning the war for talent. Meanwhile, cyberthreats and grid vulnerability are being recognized as very real threats requiring significant investment to protect our infrastructure from a national security concern.

To help the industry identify challenges and seize opportunities, we are sharing our observations and point of view in this 2020 Energy & Utilities Industry Outlook. 

Download our findings below.