Last week, there was a major summit held by Bloomberg called the Energy Thought Summit, and The Future of Energy Summit. This year there was one notable standout in the presenters, and that is the President and CEO of Direct Energy, Badar Kahn. During his presentation, Kahn noted that today’s electricity bills are antiquated and unhelpful to the customers, and his company plans on changing that. Painting a compelling picture, Kahn stated that no one would buy $100 worth of groceries without knowing what they were paying for.
He sees a future where you receive your energy bill is sent to you when you want it, and instead it’s itemized. $5 here for watching TV, another $5 for your fridge, $10 for doing laundry, and so on. Instead, you can swipe on your phone and turn all appliances on or off. He also sees a future where you can see whether every appliance is more efficient than others, and whether or not you should replace it.
This vision that he has is quite interesting, and if it works, revolutionary in the energy world. If Direct Energy is successful in their endeavor or revolutionizing energy bills, we could instead move from the unintelligible dialogue of price per kilowatt-hour between consumers and companies. Do you even know the definition of a KWh, or where it exactly comes from, or how it is exactly used within the home? Not many do.
With the growing tech industry and the advances that have been made over the years of reporting software, Kahn is adamant that the time to make energy bill changes is now. “Innovation is the most material value creation for customers, and I think we need to deliver on the promises we made when we asked for restructured markets.” Currently, Direct Energy’s goal is to display exactly what you are paying for when you use energy.
As you can see with the photo, Direct Energy expects its future bills to look like that was displayed at the summit. It shows the information that a typical bill shows, amount due, name, address, payment due, account number, and so on. But below, the information that it shows is completely innovative in its breakdown. Out of your $100 energy bill, 48%, or $48 of it went to heating and cooling. Thing you have an unusually high amount of usage in a certain part of the home, or think that your dryer isn’t as efficient as it should be? Farther down in the photo it shows you how efficient your home is, and makes recommendations on what to change.
This amazingly efficient way of breaking down costs could be an energy game changer. Everyone goes to the 5 cents cheaper gas across the street, or respond to different prices in the grocery store. But with you current energy bills, you don’t know what various appliances usually cost us.
Khan did note that although it may be a funny business proposition, helping customers consume less of Direct Energy’s product, but he stated that at the end of the day, developing a relationship and ability to keep one’s customers, is more important. “For our company, empowering our customers is at the heart of what we are doing and it is at the heart of how we will be successful.” With the changes in technology and better abilities to read where our energy is being used, we can better prepare on how we are going to spend money on energy.
By doing this, pushing innovation and reporting even further, Khan continues to drive this positive dynamic and distinguish and differentiate Direct Energy from the rest of the energy pack. Khan stated that they are not only doing this to be a leading role, but they also want to encourage other energy companies to make these changes as well. Hopefully changing the energy world for good in order to engage and empower the customer.
If you would like to see his full keynote speech, you can check it out at the Energy Thought Summit’s Youtube page. Also, make sure you keep an eye out for the upcoming Energy Thought Summit in Chicago in July, and book your hotel rooms today so you don’t miss presentations by the thought leaders and innovators of energy. Here’s a great place where you can find great Chicago hotel rooms.
What do you think about the future of energy bills? Do you think that Badar Kahn and Direct Energy will change how companies report energy consumption? Leave a comment below!
Photo Courtesy of: Forbes, “Direct Energy’s Bill of the Future Could Change the Way We Use Electrons”