Electric companies make delivering power look easy. After all, the juice is there almost all the times that consumers need it. Electric generation and distribution is a complex business, though. As the energy industry changes, though, a challenge lies in simplicity. Keep electric rates for consumers and small organizations easy to understand and logical.

Get from A to B in a straight line. Understanding how electricity charges are computed ought to be as effortless as flipping the switch on the wall for consumers.

A message from a vintage Harvard Business Review story is worth keeping in mind: To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple.

Ease of use is a competitive advantage. CEO Magazine in Simplicity as Strategy says that, “Simplification as a strategy doesn’t actually mean doing less. Rather it means clearing away the clutter and reducing the complexity.”

Energy companies employ engineers and financial folks with amazing acumen. They understand complexity, may even revel in it. In some organizations, complexity and the accompanying levels of activity is the job. (That needs to be weeded out!)

Complexity is ultimately a self-correcting issue, however. Managing complexity is a liability – time, labor, money, confusion. Failure eventually catches up. CEO Magazine said, “… running races with this kind of inefficiency is not sustainable.” Knowing that is a gift.

Electric companies have smart engineers and finance people. State and local watchers have a public obligation to drive common sense, accountability and good service for citizens. Both groups should turn their talents toward the simplest possible electric rate structures. Strive for efficiency, not process, not show, to benefit electric consumers.