With the recent growth of the distributed generation energy market and incentives for customers to produce their own energy and sell excess energy back to the grid, known as Net Energy Metering (NEM) in place in over 40 states, the traditional utility model has come into question. Facing competition from those who generate a portion of their own power and an associated loss in revenues, there is growing speculation that the traditional utility will struggle to survive if it doesn’t adapt to new market conditions. The Edison Electric Institute deemed rooftop solar “disruptive” – a threat to the traditional utility model. Solar leasing continues to expand as customers realize powering their home or business on solar is cost-effective. When utilities or states resist the transition to solar power – these entities become pressured by in-state residents as we’ve seen with the tea party in Georgia and ratepayers in Arizona.
How should utilities adapt to the energy opportunities and challenges presented in today’s market landscape? Which utilities or business models have the best approach in meeting the demands of consumers while creating the most affordable and resilient electricity grid?