New York’s REV Initiative is Transforming the Utility Industry

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How the REV initiative is changing the way New York utilities do business

Utility Dive, July 9, 2015. Image credit: frankieleon

Last week investor-owned utilities in New York submitted a raft of innovative “demonstration” projects as a part of the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative. From community solar projects to efficiency marketplaces to microgrids, the utilities were tasked with finding not just new ways to supply electricity but also how they could profit from concepts where a third-party vendor was often involved in the product. And their filings indicate just how focused they are on evolving their business models, testing new revenue concepts and ultimately evolving their role.

“Uber has created a business model that uses a network of third party providers to benefit the consumer, the third party providers, and Uber.” Central Hudson said in its proposal. “Utilities are in a unique position to establish a similar business model.”

National Grid – which proposed four projects aimed at integrating more renewables, developing microgrids and giving consumers more control – has developed an internal organization “solely focused on driving change and innovation,” White said.

Central Hudson’s own four projects include a microgrid, community solar, an energy program marketplace and targeted demand response. But ultimately, Maserjian said success will depend at least in part on how customers  respond to and engage with the new tools and programs.

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