It’s an acutely challenging time to be a utility. There’s the planet-saving part to play as electricity, transport, and heat are decarbonized. There’s the pressure to improve environmental performance, illustrated most vividly by high-profile problems with combined sewer overflows in the water sector. There’s the need to meet the demands of a growing population while attracting the gargantuan levels of investment to upgrade assets. And as customers suffer from rampant inflation, utilities must find ways to help those most vulnerable to increases in bills, too.
Cast your mind back to pre-privatization, and the sector has come a long way. The days of brown water regularly running from taps and widespread blackouts are gone. Hosepipe bans are rarer despite extreme weather becoming more frequent. Current investment in renewables, which will play a crucial role in achieving net-zero targets, is to be applauded, alongside the establishment of a forward-looking nuclear energy policy by the government.
It’s nonetheless a landscape where the stakes are high and faith among the public is low. Industry insiders know there is much to do and limited time to do it in. Download the full report, Crunch time for utilities – Addressing the investment conundrum – published by Utility Week and Charles River Associates, to get our candid views on:
- How the industry can reconcile investment with affordability
- How companies can deliver for investors while acting in the public interest
- Whether the sector has the regulation it needs
- If the current landscape is fit for the energy transition
- And whether today’s business models are fit for purpose