How utilities can find new revenue from their business customers


By: SGN Staff


Quick Take: For years I've been saying that utilities MUST rethink their business model. Accenture has just released research that documents one possible source of new revenue. I think it bears your careful consideration.

In brief, Accenture has discovered that small- to medium-sized businesses are "hungry for information and solutions to help them manage their energy costs." That hunger could turn into a new revenue stream for utilities ready to fill the gap. If you don't, other companies will step in (as they are doing already). And one day you will wake up and find that your customers think of someone else as their energy partner. And that is a slippery slope to disintermediation and commoditization.- By Jesse Berst


Accenture Report Identifies Opportunities for Energy Providers to Spark Economic Growth by Better Serving Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

Small- and medium-sized businesses are turning to their utility to relieve the energy cost burden



NEW YORK; June 17, 2013 - As many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) struggle to keep pace with sluggish consumer spending and rising operating costs, including energy bills, utilities have an opportunity to help fuel growth within this important sector, according to a new report by Accenture (NYSE:ACN).


The report, The New Energy Consumer Handbook, says that utilities can help SMBs reduce energy costs and create new ways to attract consumers by providing advice and tailoring products and services to help these companies manage energy usage, reduce business complexity and appeal to "green-minded” consumers.


"In this era of economic uncertainty and fundamental change in the evolving energy marketplace, utilities have an incredible opportunity to engage these often-neglected SMBs, which have long been considered the backbone of economic growth,” said Greg Guthridge, global managing director for Accenture Energy Consumer Services.


In a survey conducted across nine countries, including a range of competitive and non-competitive energy markets, Accenture explored the energy needs and preferences of 2,200 SMBs and found that most are hungry for information and solutions to help them manage their energy costs. Only 35 percent of the respondents believe that the products, services and support currently offered by their utilities are specific to their business needs.


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