Utility of the Future
The electric utility industry is undergoing a rapid and significant transformation, and the only thing that seems certain is change. We cannot see into the future, but we must be prepared for it. At AEP, being prepared means thinking about the future of our industry and how electric companies of tomorrow will differ from those of today.
We can make three reasonable predictions about the future: 1) the pace of change will accelerate; 2) it will require vision, planning and adaptability to succeed; and 3) successful electric companies will embrace and lead change.
We must make the electric grid more secure, resilient and capable of handling modern-day electricity demands to meet the needs of the utility of the future.
At AEP, we believe it makes business sense to seriously consider the electric utility company of the future. What will it look like? How will it operate? What challenges and opportunities will it face?
We know the process of changing our business is a journey with no end — much like our quest to be a sustainable company. We are grounded in our conviction that we must balance the needs of customers and investors, and that our employees hold the keys to our success.
Although we cannot see with certainty what is to come, we believe the utility of the future will need to:
- Develop a diverse and well-balanced fuel resource portfolio that is more secure, reliable and less carbon intensive than it is today.
- Modernize the grid to enable the management of physical assets with information technology and data to optimize efficiency and value, while providing a pathway for renewable energy and other sources to reach the market.
- Focus on customers by delivering superior customer service and bringing investments closer in line with what customers need and want.
- Work constructively to influence public policies and regulations that move away from incentives and subsidies and toward value creation and fairness — especially for low- and fixed-income consumers.
- Develop a work force that is entrepreneurial, engaged, collaborative, adaptable and flexible, along with a culture that supports those qualities.
- Deliver strong, reliable financial performance that meets or exceeds investor expectations.
- Be a good corporate citizen of our communities by supporting volunteerism, philanthropy, economic development and environmental stewardship and building strong, trusting relationships with stakeholders.