UK energy markets set for paradigm shift: Atos

Written by Peter Walker

The energy and utilities sector is on the verge of a technological revolution that will see consumers increasingly engaged in their day-to-day energy needs, which alongside broader disruption, spells profound change for the industry.

This is according to digital transformation business Atos, which launched a paper today suggesting utility providers are facing a race to transform, with those companies able to understand and respond to the rapidly evolving market being in the best position to win.

A combination of factors, including the drive to make it easier to switch energy providers, increased local energy generation and the proliferation of intelligent home devices, are disrupting the utilities market, providing new opportunities in the process and creating a nation of professional consumers.

The paper predicts that in the near future, UK householders will be able track the best utility tariffs in real time, switching energy providers within a day - and possibly within a few seconds - with data analytics able to predict consumption and deliver more responsive services, to some extent offsetting rising bills.

As a result, companies able to transform and deliver the right products and services to serve this evolving market will be rewarded with consumer loyalty and growth.

Adrian Gregory, chief executive of Atos UK & Ireland, said he’s seeing unprecedented disruption in the UK utilities industry.

“The water market is opening up, renewable energies are entering the mainstream, and gaps in the retail electricity and gas markets are being filled by innovative niche players,” he stated, adding that at the same time, regulatory frameworks are evolving.

“This industry has always been quick to see the potential of new technology and today’s forward-thinking utilities companies can again steal a march. Through digitally enabled transformation, we will see a move from utilities as commodities to high-value service providers at the heart of people’s homes and lives.”

Paul Hingley, data services business manager for Siemens Great Britain & Ireland, added: “Use of IoT [Internet of Things] and analytics is developing very fast and we are seeing new innovations every day with smaller companies driving a lot of the ingenuity and product innovation.”