Financial viability

Utility financial viability is linked to  having a stable regulatory environment, according to Dr. Lawrence Jones, VP and head of international programmes at Edison Electric Institute.

Speaking to ESI Africa at African Utility Week this year, Dr. Jones points out that: “Being able to engage with the regulators and the policy makers in your country is very important.”

Another important aspect that he underlines is that utilities must have operational and managerial skills in place, adding that “one of the things that investors do not like is uncertainty and risks.”

He noted cybersecurity as one of the emerging treats in the power utility space.

Engaging with stakeholders

The most strategic step that utilities in Africa beginning to do and should do more “is to understand how to engage with stakeholders including regulators and customers and also how to be proactive in telling their stories,” he said.

“One of the things we don’t do well as engineers is to tell our story, he said. “Utilities around the world are beginning to tell their stories,” in this way customers will begin to appreciate the benefits of electrification.

Watch the video below as he unpacks this topic and other related issues in the African energy space.