The United States’ electric power industry is changing fast. For a century, vertically integrated monopoly utilities built power plants, strung transmission and distribution lines, billed customers, and were rewarded with a predictable return on investment. But now, consumers and businesses are demanding more control over the energy they use, and surveys show they prefer a 100 percent clean electricity supply. Options for reducing and modifying electricity consumption through community choice aggregation, self-supply, storage, and smart appliances keep proliferating – making customers more independent from utility service.
Under the current regulatory system, these market trends constitute a considerable threat to traditional business models. Utilities face declining sales and increasing competition from distributed energy resources and clean energy providers at a time of increasing need to invest in grid modernization and resilience.
To adapt, utilities require new business models and new regulatory models that spur innovation instead of stifling it. Energy Innovation provides and curates solutions to state and local decision makers’ work with utilities to meet consumer demand, harness innovation, and overcome barriers to the clean energy transition. Our goal is to ensure that electricity consumers and producers alike thrive as the U.S. undergoes profound shifts to a clean, affordable, resilient electricity sector.