Utilities face constant disruption – changing customer habits and expectations and emerging technologies are transforming markets at dizzying speeds. As barriers-to-entry plummet and new business models emerge, retail power providers face an existential threat.
A recent report from Deloitte, “Widening the aperture: big-picture thinking on disruptive innovation in the retail power sector,” finds that globally many retail power providers are not responding to these threats with adequate urgency. The report looks at approaches to innovation in the sector and canvasses five blind spots that can result if providers do not take a broad enough approach to innovation.
In New Zealand, the retail power sector has been innovating for years. There are a number of utilities developing adjacent and transformational innovations, creating new business opportunities and expanding markets. Coupled with this is the increasing number of start-ups in the sector with new approaches to engaging with customers.
Our new report has a number of global examples of innovation in action. These include two NZ companies, which demonstrates the depth of innovation in our marketplace. Looking at a number of the other global examples included in the report, there is a range of companies from NZ who are trialing or have commercialised similar innovations.
Despite NZ’s apparent innovation, utilities shouldn’t be complacent and the report should be a thought-provoking read for all those that operate in the sector. There is a need to consistently test ambition levels to make sure that innovation is occurring outside of the core (see Figure 1) – this report provides the framework to start thinking in this manner.