Power & Utilities publications


North American Power Deals
Renewable transactions drove deal activity this quarter, and continue to drive investor interest in the space, though there is broader interest in deals across the industry landscape.
In depth: The revenue recognition standard and its impact on the Power & Utilities industry
On May 28, 2014, the FASB and IASB issued their long-awaited converged standard on revenue recognition. Almost all entities will be affected to some extent by the significant increase in required disclosures. But the changes extend beyond disclosures, and the effect on entities will vary depending on industry and current accounting practices. This supplement highlights some of the areas that could create the most significant challenges for power and utilities entities as they transition to the new standard.
Move beyond compliance - Create a comprehensive pipeline safety program
The commitment to safe and reliable delivery of natural gas never takes a rest. The practices we have outlined in this paper cannot by themselves provide 100% assurance. However, they can create a step-change improvement for many gas utilities and create a comprehensive pipeline safety program.
Realizing the benefits of smart gas distribution
The natural gas distribution industry is poised for a leap into an exciting future with smart gas distribution, currently the focus of unprecedented attention across the industry. No one can predict with absolute certainty what the future may hold once smart gas distribution becomes reality. However, by answering three overriding questions, the industry may be able to gain some clarity.
Beyond the hype: What is the value of customer satisfaction to a regulated utility?
The “traditional” customer-utility model is rapidly evolving as a result of new technology, competition, an evolving smart grid, and an increasingly tech-savvy consumer class. Customer satisfaction does translate into real and tangible value for power and utility companies in a number of ways and is indeed better for business.
Strategic Assets: Responsive and Efficient Utility Logistics Operations
Supply chain has been traditionally regarded as a cost of doing business. However, as many organizations recognize, without an efficient and reliable supply chain, achieving financial and operational objectives may be jeopardized. To attain optimal supply chain performance, supply chain leaders should look at the “heart” of their supply chain – the central warehouse design.
2014 Power & Utilities CAE Survey: Embracing the pace of change
PwC’s ninth annual survey of power and utilities Chief Audit Executives shows that as the magnitude and velocity of risks continues to increase, Internal Audit departments are seizing this opportunity to more effectively manage risks by partnering with other risk assurance providers in the development of innovative solutions and through employment of cutting-edge analytical capabilities.
FERC Enforcement Report 2014 Highlights
In late 2014, FERC's Office of Enforcement (Enforcement) published its annual report summarizing enforcement activities, and detailing the undertakings of the Division of Investigations (DOI), Division of Audits and Accounting (DAA), Division of Energy Market Oversight (Market Oversight) and the Division of Analytics and Surveillance (DAS). PwC's brief highlights selective compliance and audit findings contained within FERC's 2014 Enforcement Report.
Category Management: the next generation of revenue
After decades of moderate and predictable growth, the US electric industry is now racing to cope with an environment of rapid change. Category Management is a technique some leading utilities have employed when the benefits of strategic sourcing have been largely captured. When used correctly, Category Management provides the potential for significant incremental savings.
Asset management: Powering your journey to success
The P&U industry is facing seismic transformation across the sector at a pace and to an extent that is unprecedented. Environmental, political, social and technological forces are all at play—pushing leaders to examine their business models and implement change programs to respond to these trends. Changes in how power is produced, distributed and consumed, the role of the customer and the expectations of regulators with respect to funding, operations and reporting are placing P&U companies under tremendous pressure to simultaneously cut costs and improve efficiency.
Putting the success in succession: Power & Utilities Sector Edition
Power and Utilities organizations have a higher proportion of workers eligible for retirement compared to the all-industry average. Sixty-two percent of the power and utilities workforce has the potential to retire over the next five years, and 52% of skilled engineers will need to be replaced by 2020.
Power and utilities changing workforce
Workforce changes are re-shaping the risk profiles of power & utilities companies. A systematic approach could help attract and retain core know-how, and transfer industry knowledge to a younger generation.

Assets

Move beyond compliance - Create a comprehensive pipeline safety program
The commitment to safe and reliable delivery of natural gas never takes a rest. The practices we have outlined in this paper cannot by themselves provide 100% assurance. However, they can create a step-change improvement for many gas utilities and create a comprehensive pipeline safety program.

Realizing the benefits of smart gas distribution
The natural gas distribution industry is poised for a leap into an exciting future with smart gas distribution, currently the focus of unprecedented attention across the industry. No one can predict with absolute certainty what the future may hold once smart gas distribution becomes reality. However, by answering three overriding questions, the industry may be able to gain some clarity.

Strategic Assets: Responsive and Efficient Utility Logistics Operations
Supply chain has been traditionally regarded as a cost of doing business. However, as many organizations recognize, without an efficient and reliable supply chain, achieving financial and operational objectives may be jeopardized. To attain optimal supply chain performance, supply chain leaders should look at the “heart” of their supply chain – the central warehouse design.

Category Management: the next generation of revenue
After decades of moderate and predictable growth, the US electric industry is now racing to cope with an environment of rapid change. Category Management is a technique some leading utilities have employed when the benefits of strategic sourcing have been largely captured. When used correctly, Category Management provides the potential for significant incremental savings.

Beyond compliance: Creating a new norm in gas pipeline leak management
In the new norm, leak survey is no longer viewed simply as a compliance activity—it is integrated with risk assessment, work identification, and investment planning to transform integrity management and enhance pipeline safety.

A winning field mobility deployment approach for power and utility companies
Mobile technology is changing the way that power and utility companies operate their businesses, from the job site to the back office. Utilities that successfully deploy mobility solutions achieve productivity improvements of 20% to 30%.

5th Annual Digital IQ Survey - Conversations with the C-Suite - Utilities Industry Key Findings
PwC’s Digital IQ Survey is an annual assessment of how well companies understand the value of technology and weave information technology into the fabric of their organization.

Gridlines: What's next for nuclear power?
This PwC publication takes a pragmatic look at the long-term plans and actions that will be required to move the energy transformation ahead. That’s where nuclear power continues to fit in, according to many scientists and policy makers. Nuclear faces challenges, of course, but how they are being met is the subject of this issue of Gridlines.

Successful capital projects: The integrated risk framework
Capital investment projects are more closely scrutinized today than ever before. To rein in costs and chart a path to success, companies must employ sound methodologies that guide decision making from project start to finish. This report provides framework around the adoption of a governance approach that drives high-performance capital projects.

Leveraging your inventory assets
The pressure on utilities, from both the capital markets and regulators, to reduce operational costs is causing industry leaders to look at how they can enhance supply chain performance. Utility supply chains have a complicated assignment, coping with such factors as a diverse material base, uneven and unpredictable demand, and the need to maintain safety stock and critical spares to respond to emergencies. Even so, solutions must be found to optimize inventory levels, reduce inventory management costs, and minimize obsolescence costs while maintaining service and availability levels. The answer is to leverage inventory and manage it as an asset.

 

Commodities

Enhancing the value of generation assets: PwC’s Generation Contribution Margin (GCM) framework 
PwC’s Generation Contribution Margin (GCM) framework provides a simple, consistent approach for measuring, monitoring, and communicating performance across generation operations and portfolio management/trading, promoting better decision making that can enhance the value of the generation portfolio.

 

Customer Transformation

Beyond the hype: What is the value of customer satisfaction to a regulated utility? 
The “traditional” customer-utility model is rapidly evolving as a result of new technology, competition, an evolving smart grid, and an increasingly tech-savvy consumer class. Customer satisfaction does translate into real and tangible value for power and utility companies in a number of ways and is indeed better for business.

Staying ahead in an era of game-changing customer transformation
The world is using more and more electricity but many power utility companies face a huge challenge to their traditional business model.

10 Minutes on Remaking Utilities
Aside from billing matters and service calls, customers historically have had little interaction with their utility providers. So it stands to reason that customer engagement remains a hurdle for traditional utility companies.

 

Deals

PwC perspectives on delivery of an independent YieldCo business
A key success factor to any YieldCo structure is a pipeline of projects under development or available for purchase that will afford the vehicle a steady stream of stable contracted cash flow, tax benefits and growth. While there are key benefits to this model, the risks should also be considered.

Power and Utilities Alert 2013-8: Alternative financing options for the renewable power industry
What regulatory changes would be required for renewable power companies to access financing alternatives such as REITs and MLPs? What are the benefits and the regulatory challenges of each alternative?

Navigating divestiture challenges: Considerations unique to the power and utilities industry
Financial information is a linchpin to understanding deal value. While deal financials are critical, other financial data often needs to be front and center in divestiture planning. Preparing for a divestiture with these needs in mind can better position sellers for success.

North American Power Deals
This quarterly report presents an analysis of North American merger and acquisition activity in the power and utilities industry.

 

Employee

Power and utilities changing workforce
Workforce changes are re-shaping the risk profiles of power & utilities companies. A systematic approach could help attract and retain core know-how, and transfer industry knowledge to a younger generation.

Utilities Sector Executive Summary of PwC Saratoga’s 2013/2014 Human Capital Effective Report
PwC Saratoga Utilities Consortium brings together utilities companies to focus on the unique challenges of the industry and to provide a forum through which workforce and HR topics can be benchmarked and best practices shared. This year's Executive Summary for the Utilities Sector focuses on key trends from the participating organizations across dozens of utility specific workforce measures.

 

Financial Integrity

Power and Utilities Alert 2013-9: An industry perspective on the lease accounting proposal
How did power and utility companies respond the to the FASB/IASB lease accounting proposal exposure draft? This Power and Utilities Alert highlights the key issues that the revised ED has raised.

Power and Utilities Alert 2013-7: Accounting for rate-regulated activities under IFRS
The IASB’s Consultative Group met in July to discuss responses to the Request for Information (RFI) on the rate regulation project.

 

Regulations

In depth: The revenue recognition standard and its impact on the Power & Utilities industry
On May 28, 2014, the FASB and IASB issued their long-awaited converged standard on revenue recognition. Almost all entities will be affected to some extent by the significant increase in required disclosures. But the changes extend beyond disclosures, and the effect on entities will vary depending on industry and current accounting practices. This supplement highlights some of the areas that could create the most significant challenges for power and utilities entities as they transition to the new standard.

2014 SEC comment letter trends for the Power & Utilities Industry
This publication provides an analysis of SEC comment letters issued to registrants across the power and utilities value chain, including highlights of the areas in which these registrants received the most comments, as well as relevant examples.

Power and Utilities Alert 2014-4: Accounting for rate-regulated activities under IFRS - February 2014
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued International Financial Reporting Standard 14, Regulatory Deferral Accounts (IFRS 14), an interim standard on the accounting for certain balances that arise from rate-regulated activities.

Power and Utilities Alert 2014-2: Nuclear waste disposal fees
A recent Court of Appeals ruling, and a request by the US Department of Justice, have raised questions about the collection of nuclear waste disposal fees.

Spotlight on accounting for power and utilities companies for 2014
This document highlights technical accounting and financial reporting topics that are central to the industry and should be on the minds of chief accounting officers and controllers as they establish their plans for 2014.

Business continuity and disaster recovery: Enhancing enterprise resiliency for the power and utilities industry
Business continuity is becoming a growing part of government-based preparedness initiatives. While utilities are well versed in the necessities of ensuring reliability during challenging events, the 'business continuity' focus doesn't typically have the same maturity.

 

Risk Assurance

2014 Power & Utilities CAE Survey: Embracing the pace of change
PwC’s ninth annual survey of power and utilities Chief Audit Executives shows that as the magnitude and velocity of risks continues to increase, Internal Audit departments are seizing this opportunity to more effectively manage risks by partnering with other risk assurance providers in the development of innovative solutions and through employment of cutting-edge analytical capabilities.

Empowering business agility: Strengthening Internal Audit’s impact and value
Findings from the eighth annual survey of power and utilities chief audit executives.

Connecting the dots on risk: Internal audit departments are developing a more comprehensive view of the risks facing their organizations
Internal audit executives in the power and utilities industry are responding to a more complex operating environment by collaborating with other risk assurance providers to generate a more complete view of risks facing their organization. This report presents the findings from PwC's Power and Utilities Chief Audit Executives Survey.

Changing privacy risks and the data protection landscape
The unique challenges facing utilities compound the need for a holistic, risk-based data protection program- one that addresses the privacy considerations of today yet is flexible enough to manage constantly evolving risks and regulations.

 

Tax

Tax Insights: Formula rate projections and the proration formula
In a series of private letter rulings (PLRs) for taxpayers in the power and utility industry, the IRS concluded that when a taxpayer’s formula rate filing is based on a projected test period, the taxpayer must apply the so-called ‘proration formula’ to its accumulated deferred income taxes (ADIT).

Abandonment losses Key considerations for Power & Utilities Executives
The tax implications of closing a plant can vary widely depending upon many factors, and thus it is important to thoroughly evaluate the various possibilities before deciding upon a course of action or making any sort of public announcement.