A Vision for the Future of the Electric Industry

America's private and public electric utilities today are operating in a rapidly changing environment that features an expansion of innovative customer options, shifting public policy goals, and a broader and more diverse electricity service marketplace. This has generated extensive discussion about the "future utility business model" and whether utilities will change their principal focus from primarily selling electrons to considering themselves service providers to residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers.

NRDC's Vision

The utility business model, customer incentives, and regulatory structure should encourage and support the cleanest and most efficient, equitable, and affordable electric system possible. It should enable innovation and access to cleaner, more efficient technologies for all customers (including low-income); facilitate access for non-utility providers of services and technologies where appropriate; and ensure appropriate incentives, markets, and planning processes for necessary electric system infrastructure investments. In addition, complementary workforce development policies should focus on evolving worker skills to help with this transition.


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