Abstract for:The best defense is a good offense: Prosumer communities as a business strategy for electric utilities
Self-consumption concepts empower consumers to generate their own electricity and reduce their
dependency on energy supply from the grid, transforming the consumer into a so-called prosumer.
Additional to self-consumption of locally produced electricity within individual households, more
advanced concepts that integrate multiple consumers have been developed. This trend of
decentralization poses a threat to electric utilities, which currently use a business model for
centralized generation, sales and distribution of electricity. This paper contributes to an improved
understanding of the deployment dynamics of “prosumer communities”, based on a case study in
Switzerland. The study uses a system dynamics simulation approach to analyze the various factors
influencing the diffusion of “prosumer communities”. This provides insights into potential business
opportunities for electric utilities in managing this transition challenge.