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