REV: Aligning the Utility Business Model with Societal Goals

All about the REV: How and why New York wants to develop distributed energy markets

Utility Dive, March 3, 2015

The REV — the industry shorthand for the New York Public Service Commission’s Reforming the Energy Vision proceeding — sounds exactly like “rêve,” the French word for “dream.”

It’s only fitting given the aspirations of the REV docket: to create the first distributed energy markets of their kind.

It’s an idea that many in the industry never even dreamed of.

How the REV aligns utility models with societal goals

Today’s utility industry faces a long list of challenges — from aging infrastructure and stagnant demand growth to federal emissions standards and renewables integration. But rather than tackle any number of these issues separately, the REV seeks to solve one overarching problem at the root of them all: The utility business model is not aligned with societal goals.

Take the traditional utility view of energy efficiency as an example. Utilities have historically condemned efficiency and policies that promote it because it reduces their kilowatt-hour electricity sales, which in turn reduces their earnings.

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