Energy Companies Falling Behind with the Internet
Even though 62 percent of incumbent energy companies consider the Internet to be very important or critical to their futures, less than 20 percent currently provide customer- or supplier-specific information access or services according to a survey by the Yankee Group. These results demonstrate the huge gap between the stated importance of the Internet and the reality of energy company Internet strategies. Additionally, based on survey results, most energy companies do not think of the Internet as a transaction-enabling or value-creating opportunity, but merely as a static repository of company and product information. The survey identified five stages of energy Internet development including static information, supplier linked, customer linked, leverage and market maker. Although most energy companies reside in the first stage, several companies have deployed advanced Internet applications including: establishing private cyber communities for efficient materials and supplies sourcing; Internet enabled meter reading; online customer bill presentment and payment; online service requests; retail energy marketing and online energy audits.