RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • The utility industry is moving from behind the scenes to center stage to lead the energy transition, building on progress made to date.
  • The era of electrification will redefine value and put utilities at the center of new and emerging industries as “E” becomes the new “I”.
  • Weaving digital and sustainability into their DNA empowers utilities to reinvent themselves to deliver 360° value to every stakeholder.


Changing on demand

Throughout history, businesses have had to reinvent themselves to better serve an evolving society.

However, the current energy transition is unlike anything that has come before. It is driven by demand in an attempt to meet the net zero needs of industries, small and medium enterprises, cities and consumers who share a need for clean, reliable, affordable energy and services: and their demands will land at the feet of utilities as both established and emerging industries look to develop net zero solutions.

Utilities that put digital and sustainability at the core of their business will be empowered to take charge of the energy transition and deliver greater value to all stakeholders.

“E” will become the new “I”

Widespread direct and indirect electrification will require utilities and energy service providers to satisfy the demands of their customers, investors, and governments.

Just like the fourth industrial revolution brought a wave of products that started with “I” to indicate their intelligence, we expect the accelerated electrification of everything from trucks to cities to meet growing demand while decarbonizing at speed: so E will become the new I.

This ongoing digitization will trigger the transformation of the entire industry. Taking charge of that transition, scaling the progress made thus far and delivering the deep electrification of society required in the next decade is a complex process that will only be possible if technology is central in building a human-centered, responsible business.

Organizations that reinvent themselves as demand-driven digital players by matching operational change with a new culture of collaboration across industries and an expanding ecosystem, and work with both start-ups and big players can take charge and lead the way to the new, net zero world.

A chart with various industries arranged around the word “Utilities”

A graphic showing the new position of utilities at the center of emerging industries

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Utilities+: A new role

With their unique insights and infrastructure, utilities will be expected to provide equitable access to sustainable services that are delivered safely and reliably by expanding grids and infrastructure to ensure that they are resilient and flexible, so that other companies and industries can meet their net zero goals.

To access new value pools, satisfy their stakeholders and help governments fulfil their net zero promises, utilities are expanding their focus to provide new sources, solutions, and services: becoming “something else” as they do different things with different partners.

Taking charge and playing a more central role on the path to net zero requires more capabilities, a broader, a more diverse set of partners, and entry into new sectors like transport and the industrial sector; an evolution that we express using the concept of Utilities+.

A chart with interlinked points that highlight important step for utilities in the energy transition

A graphic showing the key strategic considerations for utilities moving towards net zero

By weaving sustainability and digital into their DNA, today’s utilities will be empowered to reinvent their businesses, forge new alliances, and collaborate across industries to generate value for stakeholders, society and the planet, taking charge of the industry transition as they evolve to become the energy service providers to the new, net zero world.

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