Is there a role for an energy retailer of the future? What does this energy retailer look like? Energy powers every aspect of our lives.
We know the world is changing global markets becoming more volatile, regulation and greater consumer engagement are shaping an increasingly complex energy ecosystem. We know the path ahead is challenging. We know the terrain is rough. But we know there is an opportunity. An opportunity to shape a better future.
The old business model is actively being disrupted. Solar, storage, micro-grids and decentralised energy generation and control are humming, predominately driven by rapidly falling costs. There is an absolute proliferation of AI startups and energy efficient and smart products through our various news feeds. However, at this same time we see all time lows in consumer trust and confidence in energy retailers to deliver to expectations. To deliver a clear and engaging energy experience with strong customer trust points and smooth flows from one experience to the next.
The game is changing. Fast. The successful energy retailers of the future will deliver technology that supports consumers. It won’t be another energy product for a consumer, it will be a consumer product an energy consumer uses. It will be a pivot from traditional business models to a new decentralized, decarbonized digital model that is solving what matters for our future world.
As we explore the challenges, the changes and what a new energy consumer expects. An energy consumer that is no longer passive, one that is beyond active but one that is driving what energy in the world looks like in terms of generation and consumption. The question becomes more strategic.
To understand this further, lets briefly explore what consumers are starting to expect. First andforemost, it is individualized experiences. While the experience should be personalized, it should also be liquid, that is it should flow from one experience to the next and it should not only keep pace with other industries, it should begin to exceed them (because energy powers our lives, it is all around us and drives what we do every day). There should be a relentless obsession with delivering to consumers needs and provide clarity and transparency. An unwavering no surprises principle is crucial.
The energy consumer of the future is engaged, empowered and shares the control of the grid. It is the energy consumer of the future who will not only consume but also prosume electrical supply to the market. This is a major shift. To facilitate this shift without the relinquishing of centralized power and control, is not optimal. The control will be democratized and decentralized.
To start with this shift requires trust. Trust consumers will be engaging and effective participants of a future market and trust by consumers to retailers that pricing information is clear and transparent.
We are all cost constrained and the energy market of the future is no different. The strategic shift for a new energy retailer or the rise of a new energy retailer requires an operating model that build value verticals within the current cost constraints, one which does not add new costs to the current market. So, a current energy retailer preparing for a future will need to develop future forward strategies and build new capabilities which are real and implementable, to address new opportunities with scale. For new energy retailers joining the market, it is an opportunity. An opportunity to start from first principles and develop a bottom up, customer first business model
The energy retailers of the future must consider hyper-relevant personalisation a relentless obsession, not an option. It must be considered.