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Utility companies: how to get out of sameness?

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Consultant energy affairs, Self employed

Rafael Herzberg- is an independent energy consultant, self-employed (since 2018) based in São Paulo, Brazil* Focus on C level, VPs and upper managers associated to energy related info, analysis...

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  • Sep 7, 2021

Utility companies: how to get out of sameness?

For those who had the opportunity to work professionally with utilities in Brazil and the United States, there is a very important difference in terms of their attitude towards their customers.

In Brazil, the keynote is "reactivity". The utility responds to the demands of its customers, exactly as required by regulation.

In the United States, I realized that selected utilities are "proactive". They want to understand their customers to identify mutually interesting opportunities.

The big difference is in the executives and the board members who represent the controllers. Whether they simply prefer to follow the regulations or if they are looking to explore and discover value-added solutions for their customers and for themselves.

When Brazilian utilities discover the opportunity that exists in this space (reactive x proactive) - still unexplored - they will be able to prosper, and a lot!

In the meantime, we will remain "slaves" of a notary system, non-creative, expensive and a laggard in terms of USD/MWh (BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 7, 2021

It's interesting to hear your observations on the differences culturally between the utilities. I'm curious if you can expand on what you mean by the 'sameness' of it?

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Rafael Herzberg on Sep 7, 2021

Sameness is a designation I used to reflect an ongoing situation for a century. here in Brazil

Local utility companies don't really care about their customers (even if they officially say they do)  since they have a monopoly in their designated territories. What they really care is working diligently before the regulator to make sure they get the maximum possible increase of rates for the next year..

This posture is the the opposite of finding value added services for their customers. 

When I was hired by an American utility company I saw a totally different approach. The driving factor was finding valuable solutions for the customers.  And so they did thrive!

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 7, 2021

That makes sense-- thanks for the follow up, Rafael!

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Thank Rafael for the Post!
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