The Special Report EPRI: Utilities have a LOT more to learn about what customers want, posted on SmartGridNews.com, ends with "calls for cooperation and collaboration among utilities in their efforts to come up with verifiable business models that yield actionable results for what customers really want. Without that collaboration, getting those valuable results could take a decade or more."
Why wait for so long waiting for collaboration? Under a customer orientation, instead of collaboration, what's needed is to open the power industry to a competition of business model. Please take a look at the post Customer oriented electricity. As can be seen next, the real problem is that the world changed.
In the post The Utilities’ Business Marketing Myopia Manifesto, I quoted that "... utilities did not stop growing because the need for energy based services (light, air conditioning, refrigeration, etc.) declined. That grew. The retail side of utilities are in trouble today not because that need was filled by others (competitive retailers, energy services companies, energy management companies, solar panel vendors, demand side energy efficiency suppliers, demand response companies, battery manufacturers) but because they could not be filled by the utilities themselves. They let others take customers away from them because they assumed themselves to be in the utility business rather than the energy based services business. The reason they defined their industry incorrectly was that they were utility oriented instead of services oriented; they were product oriented instead of customer oriented...