Power & utilities

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of power & utilities CEOs are increasing efforts to strengthen customer engagement

Power & utilities CEOs are partnering with customers and engaging closer with own employees

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Partnering with customers
More than nine out of every ten power & utilities CEOs say customers are influencing their business strategy. And power & utilities CEOs are making extra efforts to reach out – 84% of sector CEOs plan to strengthen their engagement programmes with these key stakeholders. That’s especially important with big infrastructure projects that need direct customer involvement, like smart metering programmes.

Keeping a handle on regulation
The power & utilities sector is highly regulated. It’s a fact of life that CEOs take into account. Around three-quarters of power & utilities CEOs tell us that governments and regulators have a significant influence on business strategy. But what happens when regulation crosses the line into over-regulation? Two-thirds of power & utilities CEOs are concerned that over-regulation could stall growth. So they are taking action – 80% are increasing their efforts to engage with governments and regulators.

Ramping up investment plans
70% of power & utilities CEOs are planning to increase capital investments this year. Operational effectiveness heads up their “Top 3” list of investment priorities, followed closely by implementing new technologies. Projects run the gamut from ambitious smart metering installations to building high voltage transmission grids; from updating old infrastructure in mature markets to building new systems in emerging ones. The cost implications of all these plans are enormous. So it’s not surprising that 55% of power & utilities CEOs are worried about their ability to finance growth.

Collaborating across the supply chain and beyond
Nearly two-thirds of power & utilities CEOs say they are diversifying their supply chain, rather than increasing concentration .That reflects an important trend we’ve been seeing. Power & utilities companies are now starting to work together not only with traditional suppliers, but also with companies from a whole range of other industries to co-develop new solutions around smart energy.

Switching back to their local roots
Utilities are strongly anchored in local communities (89% say they influence business strategy) and it’s here at home that they’re most looking to grow. Nearly half say existing domestic markets offer the best opportunities this year, far more than across the overall sample. We spoke to several power & utilities CEOs in greater depth, and the need to focus efforts on their home regions was a common theme, whether they were based in the UK or the Middle East.

And getting employees engaged
One power & utilities CEO told us his company is depending on employees to build relationships in their local communities. Indeed, sector CEOs take their people quite seriously; 88% of power & utilities CEOs say employees have an influence on business strategy. And 80% plan to increase their efforts to strengthen engagement with employees.

They’re investing in the workforce too. 63% of power & utilities CEOs say that over the next three years they plan to invest more in creating and fostering a skilled workforce.

These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.


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