The electricity sector faces game-changing conditions driven by higher expectations from local governments and electricity customers, technology advances, and new policies that emphasis performance and customer participation. What if utilities chose to leverage microgrids and a more distributed framework; taking advantage of customer investment and new utility services to make the system better while increasing returns? This presentation will introduce a utility microgrid approach and standard as a means for addressing these industry forces. The Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) standard and rating system can serve as a standard, guide, specification, and education tool. This microgrid approach begins by dividing vast utility territories into a network of manageable customer centric nodes (i.e. utility microgrids) that leverage nested private microgrids and customer distributed resources. The PEER standard is then utilized to optimize each utility and private microgrid for the benefit of the customer, utility and ratepayer.