Utilities are offering new bundles of services and solutions. For customers, the developments hold great promise – especially if you can find a way to control the many unique services centrally.
Your fridge, washing machine, solar panels and car are all coming online. Controlling them involves smart metres, the Internet of Things (IoT), and intelligent home technology connected via the internet. A common denominator for many of the new solutions is that they deal with how and when we use power. No wonder, then, that energy utilities are staking a claim on the space, offering new combinations of services aimed at your new, increasingly smart equipment.
Knowing what you use and how can help companies create better solutions for you. Bundled offers come at lower prices and, in some cases, offer new ways for you to take advantage of service and solutions. For example, your utility will provide low-cost internet connection and to buy any excess energy from your solar panels as part of a deal to supply you with energy.
In other words, you, as the consumer, may be able to reap benefits from the increased competition. However, access to new services and technology might be counterbalanced by confusion and stress over how to take advantage of the many new possibilities. This latter part is where True Energy and our app come into the picture.
Bundling for the new normal
The energy industry is undergoing a rapid transformation. Energy efficiency, electric vehicles, storage, and more are converging – thanks to technology’s power to interconnect them. We see four main drivers creating change across the energy sector:
- Customers are looking to take control of their energy supply and demand.
- Power generation and networks are being transformed and becoming dynamic, two-way systems.
- The role of the utility will change toward being a service company that enables ‘energy solutions’ and in many cases, ‘home solutions.’
- Data will play a dominant role throughout every step of the future energy value chain – for companies and customers alike.
From SmartCharge and Onwards
The trends above are in many ways tied to our need to find answers to two societal changes: the increased internet-connectedness of devices and solutions and the increased electrification of our societies. The development in the car industry is an excellent example. Today, the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is booming. Without smart charging solutions, consumers risk spending more than necessary on charging the cars, while the extra charging could strain the grid for utilities, leading to expensive expansion projects. Luckily, automating charging, so it is cheap and environmentally friendly can be done through connecting EVs or their charge boxes to other systems – for example, our app.
For utilities and consumers alike, insights into – and best practices for – the use of services that utilities are a great positive. Especially since the list of solutions and services that stand to benefit from being interconnected includes the likes of:
- Storage solutions
- Smart demand solutions
- SmartCharging solutions for EVs
- Alternative production solutions
- Appliance monitoring and automation
- Home security
- Video streaming
We expect to see utilities offer such services and solutions in different kinds of bundles. Some may even also be offered based on geographic proximity, such as near-neighbour renewable + storage solutions for a group of homes. Others may see utilities provide several services and provide a free/drop-rate extra service. One example would be an internet connection with a free subscription to a streaming service of your choice.
Creating a Control Hub
In a scenario like the one above, you could be filled with some trepidation. Perhaps you feel that, yes, you do look forward to having a more significant say over where the energy you use comes from and how it is produced. However, you are concerned with the amount of time that could take – especially considering that the solutions are going to be everywhere in your home.
This is one of the areas where True Energy can help. Via our app, consumers can control when and how they use energy – and that can be automated to match the values and desires of the individual user.
In future blog posts, we aim to take a closer look at what is happening in the space – and what it can mean for you as a consumer.