R&C: Could you provide an overview of the way digital transformation is reshaping the energy & utilities sector? What facets of the industry are experiencing substantial change?

Wright: The fundamentals of what consumers want from their energy providers has shifted over the last few years. According to our research, in the past, consumers – both commercial and residential – just wanted safe, reliable and efficient supplies. Now they want safe, reliable, green and efficient energy. They want energy efficiency programmes. They want information. They want choices. And they want help in all this from their energy providers. The use of digital technologies to capture and control operational and customer energy usage is enabling not only new business models to deliver this, but providing the customer with valuable information that they can use to make real energy decisions.

Wei: Besides customer interactions, digital is reshaping the rest of the utility value chain, including generation, grid and back office. Generation will evolve toward a more diverse and decentralised network of lower capacity, more flexible units with intelligence, comprehensive monitoring, and the ability to manage demand and supply in a real-time fashion. The transmission and distribution grid will be a communications-enabled, self-healing network with the ability to increasingly act as a balancing entity, manage two-way power flow, and optimise asset lifecycle management using sensors and data analytics. The back office operations in a digital age will feature touchless transactions, self-service, automation and real-time insights. Leaders in the industry seize the digital opportunity to drive business model and operating model innovations. Utilities are making money based on data, insights and services instead of moving electrons.

Oct-Dec 2018 Issue

Deloitte Consulting LLP