Utility dinosaurs: Here are five plans for your survival

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By Jesse Berst

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As you know, I am impatient with people who claim utilities are stupid and deserve to die. But I'm also impatient with utility executives. We all know the traditional utility business model is on its way out. It's high time utility execs stood up to proclaim what they would like instead. And they'd better hurry, because more and more organizations are offering up their own ideas in an attempt to influence state regulators, as you will read below.

 

For years, I complained that everybody agreed changes were needed, but nobody would suggest what those changes should be. That vacuum has now been filled from a variety of sources.

 

Several years back, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy proposed several ways to re-think and re-create the modern electric power utility.

 

The Regulatory Assistance Project has discussed new business models suitable for times of rapid technology changes.

 

The Rocky Mountain Institute has proposed new business models for distribution utilities.

 

The United Kingdom has an innovative new regulatory paradigm known as Revenue = Incentives + Innovation + Outputs (RIIO).