Last week in San Antonio, Texas, about 150 DISTRIBUTECH stakeholders convened to discuss industry trends, best practices for marketing and sales in the utility industry and set the educational agenda for the 2020 event.
Just over 20 years have passed since all New England states, except Vermont, restructured electric service to enable competitive retail supply and implemented basic protections focused on licensing, enrollment standards, customer notices and contractual protections. In recent years, additional rules have been implemented, such as credit card-style “Schumer Box” contract summaries, standard renewal notices 30-60 days prior to contract end, disclosures specific to variable price products, and minimum conduct standards for door-to-door sales. As New England heads towards its third decade of retail electric competition, the next evolution of rules and enforcement priorities is underway. The following new front-line issues, which hold the promise of both hindering and fostering competition, should be watched by all stakeholders.
As the smart home market heats up, digitalization, changing customer demand, and innovation in home energy management technology has opened the door for electric utilities to get in on the game. While tech companies’ access to the home remains siloed to the device level, utilities have the power in the home — literally.