Misunderstanding consumer demand could lead P&Us to waste a vast amount of time, money and effort developing the wrong services, while missing out on a wealth of new business opportunities.
Power and utilities (P&U) are investing in smart: but are they ignoring the most important part of the equation?
Worldwide, P&U companies are expected to invest US$200 billion by 2015, upgrading their metering and in some instances their grid infrastructures to be "smart."
While smart is happening at different speeds around the world, the potential scale of change is massive. Smart technology places unprecedented power in the hands of energy consumers to manage and control their energy use.
P&Us can no longer afford to be engineering-led, focused solely on delivering energy down pipes and wires, with the role of the customer being simply to pay for the requisite infrastructure. The passive nature of the current relationship — a one-way delivery of energy to customers — must adapt to something more active, based on negotiation.
The impact of smart customers cannot be ignored and is forcing P&Us to reassess their business strategies. Key issues to consider include: