Publication: Multi-Utilities : Trends - Blurring Industry Boundaries
The prospects of cost savings, increased market share, and other competitive advantages are prompting more, and more utilities to cross traditional industry lines, and offer services in several sectors. The note reviews the changes occurred during the last two decades, when deregulation, and private sector development raised the quality, and expansion of utility services, opportunities enhanced by technological developments, particularly in the field of information, and communications technology, all conducive to a multi-utility strategy. Horizontal integration of infrastructure services occurred both at the wholesale, and retail (distribution) levels: energy companies at the wholesale level are seeking to leverage trading skills between the gas, and electricity sectors; and, at the retail level, multi-utility strategies have taken the form of either leveraging the physical infrastructure as a conduit for a range of services, or are integrating separate utilities under the same corporate umbrella. Thus integration of physical networks, of service, and corporate, although not yet clearly defined, will strive to capture the potential advantages of offering two, or more utility service. However, even if integration makes sense, certainly unforeseen policy, and regulatory implications will need to respond and safeguard public interests, without stifling innovation.
“Sommer, Dirk. 2001. Multi-Utilities : Trends - Blurring Industry Boundaries. Viewpoint: Public Policy for the Private Sector; Note No. 227. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/entities/publication/a9a94ca2-cf5b-5a8e-a8f5-f1632f32dabe License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
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