Power consumers are changing and so must suppliers of these services in order to meet the new demand, Dafna Siegert, Partner Power and Utilities Leader LATAM North at EY, said during Mexico Energy Forum 2018 on Wednesday at the Hotel Sheraton María Isabel in Mexico City.
During her presentation, Siegert enumerated several variables that are poised to transform the power and utilities sector. These include new technologies such as EVs, climate change and environmental awareness among customers, the transfer of economic power, a growing population, accelerated urbanization and regulatory changes that affect the industry.
“We must think about how consumers of residential public services are changing,” Siegert said. “Consumers no longer want to just consumers; they want to be part of what is being sold.” Key drivers behind changes in the power and utilities (P&U) sector, she said, included the search for digital experiences, consumers who want detailed information regarding their consumption and how to manage it.
Technologies such as EVs, distributed energy, microgrids and blockchain are also changing the habits of consumers as is social media. “We are increasingly social, have more digital tools and access to information everywhere,” she said. “We are “prosumers” involved in the creation of content that is massified by social networks.” Siegert underlined that new P&U consumers want to have real-time monitoring of their consumption and to communicate with the energy sector.
This presents a challenge to companies in the energy industry, Siegert suggested, because they tend to only have conventional communication channels. On the other hand, she points out that energy companies need to incorporate the concept of energy efficiency in the everyday language of consumers.
“EY believes users need an experience when they are receiving P&U services,” said Siegert. She underlined that companies in the energy sector must offer digital support and meet the “smart” requirements of users to effectively deliver that experience.
Siegert presented a model that shows how utilities could look in the future once companies implement technologies such as liquid applications, robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and new dimensions, IoT and blockchain solutions.
“Clients will sell the surplus energy their houses produce when distributed generation reaches them,” she concluded. “They will also have a smart house equipped with IoT that meets clients’ energy consumption goals.”