Pathway to a 21st Century Electric Utility Model

Ceres / by Peter Kind (free download with registration)
http://www.ceres.org/resources/reports/pathway-to-a-21st-century-electric-utility/view

The rapid pace of technological change, falling renewable energy prices, increased energy efficiency, and policymaker focus on low-carbon energy and customer choice are increasingly challenging the traditional utility business model – yet as the report lays out, there are win-win solutions…

Pathway to a 21st Century Electric Utility Model proposes a vision for accelerating the transition to a reformed electric system that benefits all stakeholders, including customers, competitive third party providers (e.g.. companies deploying rooftop solar), policymakers, utilities and their investors…
The report proposes comprehensive reform measures that would help achieve clean energy goals and long-term industry stability:
  • State policy revisions consistent with the proposed model for a 21st Century Utility, including: 1) environmental, renewable energy, energy efficiency, demand response and peak-load management objectives and transitional targets; 2) refining building standards to support clean energy goals; 3) accountability metrics for utility performance; and 4) reforming regulatory oversight to focus on planning and accountability;
  • Enacting regulatory reform to support efficient resource deployment and accountability, including a forward-looking rather than backward-looking approach;
  • Refining utility rate structures to align price signals and revenue incentives with key clean energy objectives, including inclining block rates to encourage efficiency, revenue decoupling, bidirectional meters for customers who install renewable energy on-site, and fair time-of-use rates that can help reduce peak electricity demand;
  • Enabling and holding utilities accountable for clean energy transition, and for educating customers on new energy management alternatives.  One of the recommendations for helping customers adopt new energy services is through a customer-focused energy management application store that could be accessed via smart phones and other mobile devices…
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