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Utilities must adapt to changing environment, CEO says

“We have a significant challenge,” Steve Holliday told his audience.
“We have a significant challenge,” Steve Holliday told his audience.Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

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Utilities must adapt to a changing energy environment that will require greater reliance on renewable resources, increased investment in transmission and other infrastructure, and strategies to hold down costs for customers, National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday said Thursday.

“We have a significant challenge,” Holliday told executives gathered for the Boston College Chief Executives’ Club luncheon. “How can we deliver cleaner energy in the future, make sure it’s reliable, and at the same time afford it — things in conflict.”

Holliday, who has led London-based National Grid since 2007, said the utility is trying to become more flexible in the way it delivers power to and interacts its customers, for instance by testing smart meters and real-time pricing as a way to encourage energy-users to conserve

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