Texas Retail Provider Griddy Reports Customer Uptake, Savings Under IFTTT Platform That Automates Smart Home Devices To Respond To Price Signals
CEO Says "It's Time To Start Spending" On Marketing Griddy
April 22, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Karen Abbott • kabbott (at) energychoicematters.com
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Texas retail provider Griddy Energy, whose product passes through wholesale prices to retail customers for a monthly membership fee, provided an update on its recently launched offering under which customers may connect Griddy technology to smart home devices using the IFTTT platform, which automates members' devices based on price signals.
As previously reported, under Griddy's IFTTT (if this then that) tools, if the wholesale price of electricity spikes for 15 minutes, Griddy members can automatically tell their smart thermostat (such as their Nest or Ecobee devices) to turn off or adjust the temperature range, resulting in electricity savings.
Griddy CEO Greg Craig told EnergyChoiceMatters.com that 10% of Griddy members have adopted and utilized the IFTTT since being launched in January, "which we think is pretty darn good and fast for something that's new," Craig said, especially since Griddy did not market the program as hard as it could have
Craig said that, for an average customer, the IFTTT automation of a smart thermostat can save $100 annually, in addition to what Griddy says the average customer can save under its subscription-based, wholesale pricing model, which Griddy said is $440 annually
Currently, under the IFTTT program, Griddy offers a number of pre-built scenarios, or the user can also define the scenarios themselves, such as: "If the price of power exceeds 10¢, raise the thermostat to 78 degrees."
Craig said that Griddy is working to have AI and machine learning control those inputs to maximize savings
Craig said that last year in Texas, customers paid $20 billion for their power to retail energy providers. Craig said that, if customers had paid wholesale prices, they would have paid $14 billion. "There's $6 billion of waste, or overpayment," Craig said, as Griddy has tabbed its initiative to bring wholesale prices to customers as, "The $6 Billion Revolution."
Asked about managing customer expectations for this coming summer in ERCOT, Craig said that, last summer, Griddy's wholesale rates were never beaten by a REP's fixed price. Even in the worst week of last summer, where it peaked all week long, Craig said that Griddy was about a penny less than fixed rates. Craig said that, on average, Griddy is about 8.5 cents, and fixed rates are 11.5 cents
Craig said Griddy prepares members for potential transient price spikes by communicating with customers comparisons of its total cost compared to the total cost under fixed rates, including push notifications and weekly emails.
In a recent 2018 year-in-review, Griddy noted that for every hour prices spiked, there were 14.9 hours in which prices went negative
Craig said that with Griddy's platform proven over two years since its launch, "it's time to start spending," on marketing
While the marketing effort, as always, will include a large digital and social media campaign, Texans will hear more about Griddy on the radio, on TV, on billboards, and at event sponsorships, Craig said
One example is that Griddy recently asked members to vote on one of four messages for a billboard concerning the rates Reliant charges for loyal (sticky) customers (see the choices here)
Craig said Griddy has seen 700% year-over-year growth without spending much on marketing, with growth from word-of-mouth