Hey Bulb and Bulbers,
I had a great chat with Matt Jones last year who called me to talk about referrals and one of the questions he asked me, was How could Bulb do better?
Well, it’s been some time but I’ve had some thoughts about this and wanted to send a more considered reply, at last. It seems that he’s moved on now, but I thought - maybe it’s better to share this feedback with the wider group anyhow. I hope that there’s something useful in these suggestions (although I expect the community on here has much of these points already covered as there are some great ideas on here!)
It would be fantastic to see Bulb supply 100% Green Gas options (my excellent previous supplier Green Energy do this).
You might be interested to know that one of my referrals cancelled his switch (returning to Ecotricity) after he realised the gas was “only” 10% renewable (although I think he thought they were 100% but I believe they are 12%).
Enabling technologies for consumers
A number of things are happening at the moment which I think energy companies stand to benefit from if they invest appropriately:
- Solar PV is reducing in price and reducing customers use of grid.
- Battery storage is reducing in price to further reduce customers use of grid and/or mitigate peak demand.
- Feed in tariffs are ending.
Future of gas
To tackle climate change the future needs to be gas-free, but people don’t really talk about this too much - perhaps because of the convenience and efficiencies of gas.
Micro CHP systems have been brought to the consumer market with companies like Flow in recent years (they provided a discounted price of CHP boiler, took profits from feed-in tariff for contract-bound 5 years, after which customer owns boiler and electricity generated outright). But CHP is still a gas system and it looks like they’ve ended that service with the wake of FIT’s ending.
I’d like to switch to an electric combi-boiler, when I can afford to, and when I can offset the increased cost of running one with Solar PV. I guess I’d just like to see energy companies encouraging people to go gas free, with cost-effective solutions? I appreciate we may not be there just yet.
I mentioned EVs when we spoke, with a general desire to see more talk of them from Bulb.
All electricity companies stand to make a chunk of the automotive fuel profits-pie as people move to EVs and start charging their cars at home. The government grant for home charger installation has been extended for a few more years and I think this is something to be promoting at the moment. Partnerships with charging hardware providers for home installation, is a no brainer - help them get a good deal on a charging unit, save money on fuel and increase your customer’s energy usage. Bundling with an economy 7 meter would also be a good option for maximum consumer value and helping the grid.
For example, Ecotricity recently partnered with Rolec, who make the cheapest and most popular home 7kWh charging unit there is, to offer a bundle deal.
OVO energy are worth a mention as they do a great value bundle with excellent charging network Polar.
This is especially important for those who do not have the ability to charge their car at home, out and about is vital (I pay £7.95 a month to Polar at the moment, any chance to reduce that is a win).
…Ovo are also the first to announce vehicle-to-grid packages which is truly pushing the smart grid forward (!).
In my view, any promotion of EVs from renewable energy suppliers is good, because EVs need to be charged from renewable sources to have the biggest impact against climate change. They’re just a part of decarbonisation but customers stand to save so much in fuel costs they’re a win-win (I’ve saved £1192 in fuel in the first 16 months of owning an electric car, over my Mini Clubman Diesel).
Anyway, I think that’s about it - I hope my sporadic brain dump of thoughts are welcome and this isn’t too “teaching to suck eggs”
Congrats on the continued successes