Analysis Stakeholder Perspectives

What stakeholder perspective should the analysis ask a question from?

DPV has distinct impacts on various stakeholders in the electricity system; it is thus critical to examine impacts of DPV through the lens of various stakeholder perspectives, such as a DPV customer (“What is my bill savings this month?”) or a utility (“How much will my sales decrease next year?”).

Depending on the intended application of the analysis, adopting multiple stakeholder perspectives may be appropriate. For instance, a regulator looking to shift from a net energy metering program to a net billing scheme may wish to understand how this change will impact DPV customers (e.g., reduced payback period) as well as non-adopting customers (e.g., a tariff decrease) or utilities’ revenues (e.g., increased revenue).

Stakeholder perspectives can generally be subdivided into those of:

  • Solar customers and installers
  • Electric utility companies
  • Electricity ratepayers (i.e., non-participants)
  • Solar industry
  • Power system
  • Society 

Stakeholder perspectives are frequently linked. For example, when revising retail electricity rates and compensation mechanisms for DPV, the regulator or policymaker would consider how DPV will financially impact ratepayers (non-participants), the utility, and DPV system owners. DPV analysis seeking to inform high-level national or regional policies with carbon mitigation goals may focus on the carbon impacts of DPV deployment on society, including how electricity infrastructure plans may adapt and change to accommodate higher levels of DPV. Society includes all the other stakeholder groups but may include elements that are not being quantified elsewhere, such as environmental externalities (e.g., pollutants). Nor do these perspectives entail mutually exclusive groups; most analysis methods are relevant to several groups (e.g., a ratepayer and solar customer may be one and the same). It is also important to note that what may appear as a benefit to a particular stakeholder (e.g., a bill savings to a customer) may be a cost to another (e.g., lost revenue to a utility).

Well-designed DPV policies and programs generally strive to achieve fairness for all stakeholders. Fair DPV policies and programs in turn support sustainable and durable market growth. Thus, it is sometimes necessary to examine impacts from a multi-stakeholder perspective.

Picking an appropriate analysis method depends on four primary factors:

  1. DPV Customer Formulation
  2. Intended Application of Analysis
  3. Time-related Considerations
  4. Analysis Stakeholder Perspectives
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