Like all other industry verticals, utility companies have also borne the brunt of the pandemic. Even public utility providers are going through challenging times. The collapse in industrial and commercial activities is the biggest concern for them as it has led to a decrease in demand. Even as things are slowly inching towards the better, the new normal will entail lower energy demand as commercial establishments are still far from becoming fully operational.
Energy companies need to take an agile approach and bring new strategies to align with the current circumstances. It is the only way they can survive and stay profitable amid the crisis. Here are strategies that can help them with successful energy management in the new normal.
Increased focus on stakeholders and customers
At this point, energy companies need to prioritize all stakeholders instead of only their shareholders. Going the extra mile with customer experience is the key to long-term retention, even more during a crisis of this magnitude. Right now, utility providers will need to understand what drives consumers. They must pay extra attention, specifically the high-value commercial and industrial clients, because they are the mainstay of the business. Utility companies also have to realign the delivery and billing models according to the evolving needs of the consumers. The idea is to make things easier for consumers as they struggle with the challenges brought by the pandemic.
Technology is the game-changer
Even before the pandemic, the utility industry was taking steps to embrace innovation by implementing the latest technology solutions. But now, there is a need to accelerate the initiative if they expect to stay in the race. Lower demand means higher competition in the landscape, so only a company with top-notch offerings will survive. Solutions like outage management systems for quick detection of power outages and early resolution are a must-have to retain customers. Additionally, utilities need to innovate with features such as smart meters and cybersecurity to enhance the level of customer experience.
Sustainability is a key differentiator
The utility sector has witnessed a growing inclination towards sustainability in the last few years. Consumers are conscious about energy savings and carbon footprint, and utilities need to keep pace with the mindset to stay relevant. Sustainability has become even more significant in the pandemic era because everyone wants to do their bit for the environment. Utility companies can seek collaboration from customers for implementing and managing distributed energy resources. The initiative will bring reliability and resilience in operations and support the green mindset as well. It will be a win-win measure for all!
Many energy companies have already transformed their core operations to operate in tandem with the evolving consumer needs and government regulations. However, it is not enough to align with the after-effects of the pandemic. There is a need to enhance customer experience and optimize cost structure to deal with the period of low demand. The idea is to stay afloat during the crisis and be strong enough to make a comeback once things get back to usual.