Start-up Launching Blockchain-Based Retail Electric Service Taps Retail Market Vet For Leadership, Applies For Texas REP Certificate
Will Use AI To Make Real-Time Purchases For Residential Customers
January 15, 2018 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
GridPlus Texas Inc. applied for an Option 1 Texas retail electric provider certificate
On its Texas website, the company states, "Grid+ is a next generation electrical utility that brings you low prices through artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. We're starting in Texas in 2018."
John R. Werner serves as Chief Executive Officer of GridPlus Texas Inc.
Werner has previously served in a variety of senior roles at Texas retail electric providers, including previously serving as President of Source Power & Gas LLC
GridPlus Texas' service relies on a device, or "agent", which facilitates blockchain transactions and real-time purchases from various markets.
A video on GridPlus Texas' website describes its service as follows:
"The GridPlus smart energy agent works for you. Using artificial intelligence and your electricity usage patterns, your agent anticipates your usage demand and automatically purchases energy on your behalf at the cheapest rate possible. Your agent has access to multiple electricity markets, and can make real-time purchasing decisions," the video states
Using the blockchain technology, "your agent settles transactions instantaneously, and purchases your electricity every 15 minutes," the video states
"This all happens in the background, allowing you to relax and save," the video states
"Setting up your agent is easy, just plug it in, connect it to wi-fi, and deposit money using your GridPlus mobile app. The agent is now ready to save you money," the video states
"Do you have solar panels? GridPlus pays users to put solar power back into the grid, and, unlike traditional energy retailers, we repurchase energy at market rates and with no limits," the video states
"What about a home battery? Your agent can put your battery to work, buying electricity when the price is low, storing it, and then re-selling it when the price goes up. Your agent collects and manages your revenue seamlessly, you can automatically re-invest earnings to pay for future electricity usage, or you can cash out at any time," the video states
"The GridPlus agent brings you the lowest electricity prices available, and turns your solar panels and batteries into more profitable revenue streams," the video states
GridPlus Texas' website also touts its service as follows:
Removes low value add parties from the electricity supply chain, reducing administrative and financial overhead and decreasing prices for consumers
Encourages the adoption of distributed energy resources like home batteries and solar panels, allowing more efficient utilization of existing grid infrastructure
DRIVES GREEN ENERGY
Creates economic incentives through market-based energy pricing to further encourage the adoption of home batteries and solar panels
Directors of GridPlus Texas Inc. include Mark D'Agostino and Cole D'Ambrosio. D'Agostino is CEO and co-founder of Grid+, a ConsenSys formation
RetailEnergyX.com noted that Grid+ set forth much of its strategy in a white paper (see story here), in which Grid+ stated that, "Grid+ expects to charge its customers for the price of energy they purchase in the wholesale market, the fees associated with its distribution, as well as a percent markup over these latter two costs."
Grid+ said in its whitepaper that it expects to charge 20% above the wholesale plus distribution cost, "implying a cost of $0.068/kWh, for the Texas market, compared to the current average retail cost of $0.115/kWh. This would provide a customer savings of ~38%"
Regarding its business model, Grid+ in the whitepaper (which is not specific to Texas) stated, "Grid+ revenue will be generated from markup on wholesale energy prices, transaction fees, interest on capital backing BOLT tokens, and sales of Smart Agents. The objective of Grid+ is to drive energy prices as low as possible and operate the energy business near-cost in the long-term (i.e. paying for expenses, but making little-to-no profit off of the energy fees charged)."
Per the whitepaper, Grid+'s model requires use of a "smart agent" device to facilitate the blockchain transactions. The device's manufacturing costs are expected to be about $50, which will generally be charged to the customer (some initial devices may be given away at start-up)
Residential customers will be a target demographic of Grid+.