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Diversifying Electricity Customer Choice: REVing Up the New York Energy Vision for Polycentric Innovation

Nyangon, Joseph and Byrne, John (2018): Diversifying Electricity Customer Choice: REVing Up the New York Energy Vision for Polycentric Innovation. Published in: Energy Systems and Environment , Vol. 1, No. 1 (9 August 2018): pp. 3-24.

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Abstract

Electric utility business models are changing to integrate new technologies and distributed energy resources (DER). Diversifying energy mix and customer choices are both novel and useful in understanding key drivers of this transformation, including distribution system planning and customer-service options. Practical implementation of these solutions, how- ever, shows that without proper planning, energy diversiication could come at very high social and economic costs. For example, regulators have been slow in implementing policy, regulatory, and business model constructs that promote customer choice to animate high levels of grid reliability and resiliency. Equally important is how viable existing utility business models are to navigating transformation processes, including strategic resource management, revenue model, customer interface, and value propositions. This chapter discusses our use of the Hamel business model to ofer strategic analysis of Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), which is aimed at decarbonizing New York’s energy sector and increasing customer choice and control. Speciically, we build from existing literature to argue that implementing distribution management systems (DMS) in which customer choice and DERs are prominent requires a shared or ‘polycentric,’ networked business- model innovations that build on competitive and comparative advantages of existing institutions to meet the growing demand for electricity services and utility strategic goals.

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