17. June 2011 04:23
According to a recent survey released by industry consultancy, Black and Veatch, over 70% of utility industry respondents believe that energy pricies will rise significantly in the next five years. This means utilities either have to prepare for a serious backlash from their customers as they pass on these increases in the form of higher bills or focus on reducing consumption via aggressive promotion of DSM programs.
As both an industry member and a customer, we can safely predict that the latter would be much better approach for the utilities. The conditions are right for such an approach:
- there is a well-developed ecosystem of program implementation contractors with national scale and proven experience to deliver targeted cost-effective DSM programs;
- financial models are available to determine the cost-benefits of such programs so that they can be expected to be approved by the concerned Commissions;
- industry organizations, such as AESP, provide ready forum to meet with other utilities to learn real life lessons on running such programs;
- mature EM&V companies are present to provide analytical and planning support to quickly plan and deploy large scale programs;
- proven products are available to effectively track, report and generate analytics on program savings and performance [although not an unbiased view, we humbly believe our E2DR product suite meets that billing!].
Conflence of such positive factors do not come by that often in business and we hope the utilities take advantage of this golden opportunity. Else, there is a real possibility of strong negative reaction from their customers, especially given the shaky status of the economic recovery at this time.