Partner to Protect: How energy firms need smart alliances to keep their competitors at bay

• 25.03.19 •

Nadja Karoliina Peltomäki  • Business Design Lead and Energy Specialist

Could innovative alliances, improved use of data and analytics and a laser-like focus on consumer need and experience, be the winning strategy that gives UK energy companies a chance of holding back the disruptors lining up to steal their market share?

Nadja Karoliina Peltomäki writes in Utility Week about the challenges facing the UK’s big six. Their once seemingly invincible market share is under pressure from varied forces including consumer mistrust, the recently introduced energy price cap and the circling of the energy sector equivalents of Uber and Airbnb. How can they fight back?

As well more intelligent use of the rich data they have access to via smart meters, Nadja believes that smart partnerships which have consumer needs and emerging tech at their core, represent a potential way forward for the energy giants. There are some stumbling blocks, for example the failure of most smart meters to stay smart when switching supplier. But done right, this kind of collaboration could include joining forces with innovative manufacturers such as Philips Lighting, to offer customers one-click access to their electricity bill and advice on the most cost-effective lighting system for their homes. What better way for them to rebuild relations with consumers by solving their problems beyond energy?

Nadja also discusses how IoT-led partnerships could allow energy companies to add value to their relationships with their business customers, by using smart tech to provide companies with greater visibility over their energy usage and helping them to manage it more cost-effectively. Nadja urges energy companies to embrace adjacent sectors and trends such as mobility and electrification. One way of doing this is to partner with auto brands and contribute their scale and infrastructure to run public charging networks for EVs, allowing auto brands to offer holistic packages to customers which include home charging and charging on the go.

Nadja concludes that while unusual partnerships may be counterintuitive for energy brands, when it comes to protecting their patch, they are essential.

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