The Future of Our Grid: Shifting Perception from Grim to Great

There’s been a lot of “doom and gloom” messaging surrounding the utility market in recent years. Sky-high electricity prices are the number one concern[1] for Ontario voters, placing the existing provincial government at an all-time low at the polls (despite recent announcements[2] to reduce electricity pricing). Industry is struggling to keep up with energy costs despite programs such as the ICI. LDC’s are being faced with the challenge of shifting an engrained business model to accommodate emerging markets.

It’s not always easy to be optimistic. But at Spark Power, we believe that a positive outlook comes not from seeing circumstances as they are, but instead training the mind to see opportunities that the current reality can present. Regardless of the legislative changes we’ll see in the coming months and years, we don’t see a “death spiral” for utilities as a foregone conclusion. Instead, Spark Power is excited about the opportunities that a clean energy future and a more robust grid will inevitably bring about.

Evolution of an Industry

The Canadian Electricity Association has predicted[3] that the creation of services customized to meet the needs of individual consumers will be a key attribute of Canada’s future electricity system. As the industry continues its evolution towards programs like virtual net metering and grid-tied customer storage for community self-consumption, we believe that the result will be more cost-effective power, sustainable load growth, and a smarter, more reliable grid.

The Federal Government plans to spend $21.9 Billion[4] on green infrastructure over the next 11 years. There’s no question that the traditional business models in the power sector will need to change to accommodate market conditions, industry, and social trends. Competition for revenue is fierce, with new, non-utility players entering the race for customer mindshare, and workforce attention. Brand new business models are changing the consumer perception of LDC’s, making it necessary for utilities to develop new strategies to meet the demands of shareholders, customers and regulators.

Forward Momentum

Spark Power recognized this trend toward change and subsequent industry-wide transformation many years ago. We have an early adopter advantage, as well as the commercial and industrial power services customer base and knowledge of the sector in our favour.

Beginning in 2009, we began the transformation of our own company into a true diversified energy services provider, leveraging our core competencies as well as emerging technologies to deliver proven benefits and position our company as a leader for the future. We recognized that technology was rapidly changing how companies needed to operate, and adopted renewable energy, Internet of Things solutions, smarter power system technologies, the use of data analytics to improve corporate performance, and integrated mobile applications, all of which made a profound impact on our business.In embracing the forces revolutionizing the energy industry, Spark Power has been able to improve operations and financial performance, offer new and innovative services to customers, and defend against competition. We are industry leaders, eager to help a wide variety of companies to achieve tangible business results through the delivery of industry-specific solutions, leveraging our expertise in emerging tools like Social Media, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC).

In embracing the forces revolutionizing the energy industry, Spark Power has been able to improve operations and financial performance, offer new and innovative services to customers and defend against competition. We are industry leaders, eager to help a wide variety of companies to achieve tangible business results through the delivery of industry-specific solutions, leveraging our expertise in emerging tools like Social Media, Mobile,  Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC).

Our dedicated leaders are committed to assisting our clients to:

  • Improve Customer Satisfaction
  • Leverage Strategic Relationships
  • Increase Profitability and Operational Efficiency
  • Create and Implement Compelling New Business Models
  • Improve Effectiveness of Market Positioning and Revenue Streams

New services such as Energy Aware are allowing Spark Power to empower our clients in new and exciting ways. To learn more about how Energy Aware can ease your company’s transition to a more energy-efficient future, contact us today.

Footnotes

[1] CBC, “Ontario Liberals Eyeing Hydro Rate Cut in the Range of 8 Percent”, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-hydro-bills-global-adjustment-kathleen-wynne-1.3975946

[2] Ontario Cutting Electricity Bills by 25 Per Cent https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2017/03/ontario-cutting-electricity-bills-by-25-per-cent.html

[3] Power for the Future, “Vision 2050”, http://powerforthefuture.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Vision2050.pdf

[4] National Observer, “Why Canada’s Clean Energy Investment Plummeted in 2016”, http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/02/06/news/why-canadas-clean-energy-investment-plummeted-2016