As a provider of resilience solutions in the electric utility industry, let’s assume you have the greatest resilience solution since the invention of sliced bread. When you engage with utility prospects to discuss your solution, what sort of questions do they ask? Utility decision makers have much on their minds these days regarding resilience to wildfires, extreme weather, and other threats. These may include financial implications, regulatory scrutiny, social equity, new business models, environmental considerations, and many others. As a result, some of the questions utilities ask may surprise you.
Potentially Enhance Your Solution, Competitiveness, and Marketing
- Make your solution more attractive by anticipating utility issues concerning performance and flexibility
- Enhance your competitiveness in the rapidly-evolving resilience solution marketplace
- Present your solution to utility prospects with greater confidence, and better answer their questions
Based on our discussions with electric utilities, solution providers, and other stakeholders about resilience to wildfires, extreme weather, cyber security, physical security, and other threats, we’ve assembled the following checklist of questions that utilities are likely to ask about your solutions. Does each of your solutions address all of these questions, and are you prepared to answer them?
Integration and Technical Performance
- Integration. Can the solution support and be integrated into existing utility equipment, systems, and processes?
- Effectiveness. How effective is the solution (via quantitative metrics) at hardening utility assets or accelerating power system restoration, compared to existing methods?
- Benchmarking. Has the solution been independently tested and benchmarked with current methods and technologies, and what are the results?
- Security and Privacy. Even if the solution is not cybersecurity focused per se, how does it bolster the utility’s existing security posture and avoid adding new vulnerabilities? How does it protect the privacy of utility customer data?
Flexibility and Extensibility
- Future-proofing. How is the solution future-proofed against advances in technology and evolution of standards?
- Scalability. What facilitates its scalability from pilot to broad utility implementation?
- Threat Applicability. How does it address the types of threats currently affecting the utility’s service territory or operating area? How can it be extended to address other utility threats?
- “No Regrets” Solution. How does the solution simultaneously address other issues besides resilience – such as decarbonization and improvement in normal operation, planning, or customer service – that the utility is facing?
- Business Models. What alternative utility business models and forms does it support?
Economic and Financial Performance
- ROI. How can the utility calculate the solution’s return on investment (ROI), compared to current equipment or methods?
- Risk. How does the solution reduce the utility’s exposure to risk and liability?
Regulatory Compliance and Social Equity
- Transparency. How does the solution facilitate transparency of utility data with regulators and other stakeholders?
- Social Equity. How does it help the utility provide social equity in the service territory or operating area?
- Environment and Health. How does it address various utility environmental, public health, and worker safety considerations?
- Regulatory. What regulatory questions will it answer, and what additional regulatory concerns will it address?
… And a Few Questions for You
Solution providers: What key questions are you encountering in your discussions with utilities?
Utility decision makers: What do you think of this list? What else is top of mind?
We value your feedback! Please contact us with your thoughts.