How do we combat the utility argument from utilities that they "can’t afford to update their IT systems”?

  • Any utility that cannot figure out to specify investments to a specific place and recover costs from that place will, simply stated, not be prepared for the 21st century. They will not be prepared to accommodate distributed energy.

  • Costs are plummeting for innovations like distributed renewables, on-site solar, electric vehicles, and programmable thermostats.

  • Businesses like Best Buy and Home Depot will jump into sell these and more, whether the utilities do or not. But -  these businesses won’t be able to serve low-income customers because of the barriers, and then the utilities will use low-income energy-users as human shields and scapegoats as to why distributed renewables and smart technology shouldn’t be adopted.

  • Ultimately, programs like PAYS also provide an clear venue in which to say to utilities: “we are here to help you figure it out if you are willing to be a partner on the programs we need - because you won’t survive the 21st century if you can’t upgrade your cash register”

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