News & Insights

Staying Focused and Efficient in a Changing Utility World – Organizational Assessments Help Utilities Stay Competitive

The electric utility industry is undergoing a period of rapid change. In many parts of the country, competition is increasing, whether it be from the threat (or reality) of third-party competition or simply more customers electing to engage in self-supply such as rooftop solar. This change is requiring utilities to transform their mindset and become more customer focused and responsive to more changing and diverse customer preferences. At the same time, the aging workforce within many utilities is forcing internal transitions contemporaneously with these changes in wholesale markets, generation technology, utility regulation, and customer attitudes.

Ensure that Your Utility Is Structured for the Future

Avant Energy offers organizational assessments for municipal utilities both large and small to help you ensure that your utility is prepared to compete and thrive in the utility industry of the future. This assessment is frequently part of a larger strategic assessment evaluating a utility’s mission, objectives, and power supply planning, but can also be a standalone project. We leverage our decades of utility management, human resources, and consulting experience to evaluate your organization and make customized recommendations for changes to improve your utility’s efficiency and effectiveness. We perform an in-depth assessment of your utility, including in-person visits to all utility locations. We interview employees at all levels within the utility to obtain a variety of perspectives and viewpoints. Some utilities also pair financial benchmarking services with the organizational assessment, which can include rate comparisons with competitors, analysis of cash and reserve levels, debt service coverage, and more.

Organizational Assessment Report Focuses on Four Key Dimensions

Our clear, concise report examines both the utility as a whole as well as each department or division of the utility. We have also included analysis and discussion of how the electric utility interacts with other city or utility functions, such as customer service, finance, and city management. Our organizational assessment report focuses on four key dimensions of utility performance:

  • Process and Procedures
  • Systems
  • Training and Development
  • Staffing

Actionable Recommendations to Improve Utility Performance

Avant’s report provides actionable recommendations to improve utility performance. We provide alternative organizational constructs for clients to consider to optimize and improve utility performance while reducing costs. We facilitate discussions with utility management, and, when appropriate, governing bodies to help ensure clear understanding and support effective decision making.

– David Niles, Vice President, Avant Energy, Inc.