Wireless Maingate - a Sierra Wireless company

A new sunless dawn for European utilities

Blog post   •   Apr 05, 2013 09:00 CEST

Our CEO Baard Eilertsen reflects.

Justification only?

We might think that we are heading forward with all the pilots and technology seminars arranged and marketed thru out Europe called Smart Utility but it is merely a justification of an industry. We already see that consumers are starting to act on their own, buying services from others to ensure that they are line with environmental targets or more importantly services that will save them money, both in the short and long term.

Strangle innovation

A current example is Ofgem where penalties were issued towards utilities for not providing tools for customers in order for them to make well-informed decisions when choosing a supplier. I am actually worried when I see the direction of where we are heading. When regulators strangle all innovative powers that a utility might have (which they don't), and the utilities fight even harder to safeguard their assets, which is basically worthless for a consumer, then I start to worry.

Customer driven innovation essential

Maybe we see the "electric boom" coming around the corner where utilities will be valued according to their actual doings and not what they are claiming to do. Because they cannot fool the consumers or prosumers anymore and certainly not me! When it comes to the regulators I can only say that if the bank regulations where as weak as the regulators within the energy space, we would all be bankrupt.

Think if we could get regulators who actually understood the power of digitalization, customer driven innovation and consumer oriented business. Did all regulators miss that it is companies like Apple who rules the Telco world these days!

I wonder who will rule the utility world tomorrow?

I have a good feeling that the industry and it's stakeholders will be diminished when the customers become tired of the non-efficiency within the current system and start to act themselves. Who will then be the winners?

Easy answer; the customer off-course!

Best regards, Baard Eilertsen