Digital electricity won’t be like grid electricity. Something incredibly important has just happened in electricity. Everyone is going to play an important part in changing a whole industry – something big is happening. Its good, unstoppable and exciting.
Electricity has until now been held by a close-knit elite, and we “the people” going to bust up the cabal, give the power to the people and put digital electricity in its place. Matter is at the forefront leading the push of putting power back in the hands of people.
For us this is cause, not a business.
To explain exciting digital electricity we need to understand grid electricity.
For grid electricity retailers the brutal reality is that customers just don’t care about a commodity product like their grid electricity.
One electron is the just the same as the next retailer’s electron – no matter what they say they compete on price and terms. These are the only two things that they can control.
Buying electricity from one electricity retailer is the same as buying from another – who cares – they are all the same – its just about price. To hold onto customers the main thing Retailers of grid electricity do is make it impossible to compare one product with another.
What is really the product of a grid electricity retailer?
So what is really the ‘product’ of a retailer in electricity? All electrons are the same – so can’t be this. They don’t deliver electricity – they really don’t. The quality of the electricity can’t be distinguished its the same no matter who ever is your retailer. Because it comes from the same bloke. If something goes wrong with your “power” its the poles & wire people you call not the retailer – its even on their websites. So poor quality will come from all electricity retailers no matter how many times you switch.
So again – what is really the ‘product’ of a retailer in electricity? Well its the bill. The bill is the main product of an grid electricity retailer. This is their only interaction with the customer – taking their money.
So what do retailers of electricity do to innovate? The make their bills more attractive. Colourful bills, fancy charts, and they conjure amazing product names in smoke filled rooms drinking bottles of vodka that would make George Orwell blush with envy. Names like “predictable Plan”,”Rate Freeze”, “Fair Deal”, “Smile Plan”, “living Energy Saver”, “Standard Saver”, “Platinum”, “Energy with benefits”… you get the idea. Some retailers even try to invoke a sense of national pride or play the “race card” – like refugee electrons travel from overseas invading our shores? Make Australia great buy our “australian” electrons – please help me…. I am waiting for a grid electricity retailer who had one to many “joints” to start weaving identity politics into their product marketing…. Rainbow Power Plan, Oppressed Freedom Plan…
Grid electricity is where “big brother” is spewing a relentless bullsh*t about innovation and unprincipled dissemination of facts about their product. We all see through this…. and are frustrated and angry.
So they like to deal in alternative facts — by sticking fancy labels on their commodity product… so very 1984
The grid electricity retailers innovations are always lame like online portals and apps that show you your bill. One electricity retailer is rumoured to have spent in excess $70 million building their app to give you this innovation. When you develop a new product in tech it is very exciting because you try to do something that has a “wow factor”.
So what do these innovations look like from the electricity retailers? Well you can track electricity usage by the day – yawn. View your balance so that you don’t get a shock – god forbid, yawn. And of course you can pay your electricity bill while on the go – like which watching football – really, stop playing while I enter my credit card? Yes being able to view your bill on a smart phone is an innovation, NOT.
So in the weird world of grid electricity retailers their product is the bill.
All innovation is around making the bill exciting and being able to collect money.
And of course having an orwellian product name would be awesome.
And the future…
Five years ago we stood back and looked at the industry trends and could see a future in distributed solar power, batteries and IoT. … And this was so exciting.
The future is Digital Electricity.
In this world power is generated on the place, stored and energy is traded on the grid. Grid electricity is purchased like a backup. Places trade in energy making money for their masters at the place. Electricity plans are like small micro-futures contracts. IoT at the place monitors, influences and monetises all connected devices. Embedded algorithms embedded at the place do machine learning and predict the future to make the business more profitable or make the lives of the residents better while saving them money. Oh did I mention that the “place” can be something that moves – like a car, truck, train or light rail.
Digital electricity is the fusion of many technologies serving the masters of the “place”. This is a very different universe from dumb commodity grid electricity.
Digital Electricity is clean, high quality, always available and cheaper than that commoditised utility electricity you get from the grid from the retailers. Grid electricity is dirty, poor quality, intermittent, expensive and in reality a commodity – just like sugar, salt or water. Sure we need it but grid electricity is the same (except for price) from all grid retailers – it is indistinguishable from each other.
For grid electricity, as Peter Drucker once said ” In a commodity market – you can only be as good as your dumbest competitor”.
Digital electricity will continue to operate when a storm hits, it won’t damage your expensive electrical equipment because voltage is higher or very low than it should be, its clean and doesn’t rely on coal plants and its much cheaper than utility grid power. It is intelligent and works seamlessly with the business or consumers’ lifestyle at home. And it is under the masters control in the place.
Finally, for those in the game – in the digital electricity market – you can be much much better than your dumbest competitor.
So we at Matter Technology have been beavering away moving towards this future of digital electricity. Its an exciting world. And I am trumpeting for all to come out of the woodwork and create this amazing future. This is a cause.
Our beachhead product in this new space is Landlord Solar a service with IoT that allows property investors – all 2 million of them in Australia and 70 million in the world to sell clean, cheap solar power to their tenants and make more money from their rental properties. And position for the digital electricity revolution that is happening.
To be able to invent a better energy future is now possible and within everyone’s grasp technologically, financially and politically. We have the tools to disrupt the status quo of the incumbents energy players who for too long have been fleecing businesses and householders. They have shot themselves in the foot. It is a cause for excitement and a time of great opportunity. Many new entrants are now rushing headlong into the energy market. I wish my fellow disrupters well and you should too.
We all will shape the future, create jobs and spur growth.
Power to the people!