The traditional business model for energy producers – operating large power plants far from the consumer – has already been destabilised by digital technology.
Consumers are no longer passive recipients of electricity, but empowered decision makers at the centre of the generating process. The emergence of devices like smart meters, the NEST thermostat, as well as electric vehicles and domestic-scale storage, are challenging traditional players and market structures.
The new competitors want to learn about our lifestyles, use that knowledge to provide a better service, and also to create new moneymaking opportunities. They’re more agile. And they enjoy greater consumer trust than power utilities and governments, so they are currently in a stronger position to set the pace and lead a consumercentric agenda.
The challenge for established energy providers: to transform from ‘ivory towers’ into the brand next door, that understands how consumers tick and what they need tomorrow.