Big-picture thinking on disruptive innovation in the retail power sector

Widening the lens

From technology to customer expectations, various factors are accelerating the pace of disruption in the retail power sector, urging companies to innovate faster and more effectively. However, many retail power providers are not responding to these existential threats with the urgency one might expect, exposing them to the risk of being left behind.

Rather than innovating across the business, some companies are focusing on innovation in the core back office functions. How can retail power companies broaden their innovation programs and make them a strategic priority?

This report outlines three levels of innovation ambition and defines 10 key types of innovation. We also identify five common “blind spots” retail power companies may overlook on their innovation journey. Furthermore, we examine how companies can avoid these blind spots and more effectively seize the opportunities they present, by taking a more comprehensive approach to innovation. By highlighting inspiring examples from around the globe, we aim to show how some companies are disrupting the retail power sector by innovating across the business.

Despite New Zealand’s innovative practices, utilities shouldn’t be complacent and the report should be a thought provoking read for all those that operate in the sector. There is a need to consistently test ambition levels to make sure that innovation is occurring outside of the core – this report provides the framework to start thinking in this manner.

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