COVID-19: a new reality for Energy and Utilities

COVID-19: a new reality for Energy and Utilities

Read our report on the trends likely to transform Energy and Utilities.

Simon Virley - Partner and Head of Power and Utilities - KPMG UK

Vice Chair and Head of Energy and Natural Resources

KPMG in the UK


There has been 10 percent less demand for power since lockdown, according to National Grid figures. That may not be a short-term trend. COVID-19 is set to have a significant impact on the future of the Energy and Utilities industry – its market and how it operates. So, what will the new reality look like for Energy and Utilities?

Read the full article, COVID-19: Likely themes in the ‘new reality’ for Energy & Utilities.

We’re unlikely to see things return to how they were before the pandemic – certainly not any time soon. That’s not just a result of the economic impact of the crisis, it’s also because people’s perceptions have changed. 91 percent of people don’t want to go back to how things were before.

Energy and water won’t just be commodities

Even before the pandemic, governments were recognising energy and water as critical infrastructure. COVID-19 has reinforced this view. Where in the past energy has been traded as just another commodity, now it’s seen as an essential of life – and employees in the sector are considered key workers.

What does that mean for the future of the industry? It could mean greater state intervention. It could also mean calls for greater energy independence and less reliance on long supply chains.

ESG will be even higher on the agenda

COVID-19 has highlighted how environmental, social and governance (ESG) change can be achieved and the impact on our lives. 51 percent of people have noticed better air quality during lockdown. Companies have found that video conferencing can replace corporate travel in many cases. And there’s been a real focus by business on the wellbeing of their employees and the communities they operate within.

That means there’s likely to be even greater scrutiny of businesses’ ESG credentials in the new reality. ESG performance will be key in building trust. We’re also likely to see climate risk re-emerge as a key priority for businesses. Many organisations are rethinking their approach to risk as a result of the pandemic – and climate change is the biggest risk we face.

Where and how we work will change

A major focus for businesses at present is the practical arrangements they need to make for the return to the workplace. A big consideration is how to implement social distancing effectively and limit the impact on operations, especially as this could be an ongoing requirement.

We’re also likely to see a continuation of homeworking in those roles where this is possible – and in some roles that were previously considered only possible in-house. That’s going to put an even greater emphasis on digitisation and the role of connectivity. It will also mean managing the greater potential for the lines between people’s work and personal time becoming blurred.


Read our report

In our full article, we consider in greater depth these and other trends likely to shape the new reality for Energy and Utilities.

Read the full article, COVID-19: Likely themes in the ‘new reality’ for Energy & Utilities.

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