In March there was a summit held in Texas by Bloomberg called the Energy Thought Summit. Although there were amazing presentations made by many industry insiders there was one notable presentation that resonated with everyone who attended. This presenter was the President and CEO of Direct Energy, Badar Kahn. During his keynote presentation, Badar made a statement that today’s electricity bills are old-fashioned and unsupportive to the customers, and he and his company plan on changing that. Making an interesting argument, he stated that no one would buy $100 worth of groceries without knowing what they were paying for, so why would you do that with energy?
Badar envisions a future where you receive your energy bill is sent to you when you want it, and instead it’s itemized. You could know that you spent $5 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 industry. 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, Badar 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.
Below is a photo of what Direct Energy expects its future bills to look like. It shows the information that everyone’s current bills show: name, address, amount due, payment due, account number, and so on. But the information that is presented below the everyday information is the really innovative thought of showing what you are actually paying for. Out of your $100 energy bill, 5.6%, or $5.60 of it went to using the dryer. Do you think that your dryer isn’t as efficient as it should be? Feel like the amount you spend on lighting could be better? Well then, farther down in the photo shows you actually how efficient your home is and gives you recommendations to reduce the amount of energy you use.
Photo Courtesy of: Forbes, “Direct Energy’s Bill of the Future Could Change the Way We Use Elec...”
This incredibly efficient way of reporting energy usage is unbelievably innovative and could change the future of how we use energy. Badar did note that although it may be a counterintuitive proposition, helping consumers use less of the energy that Direct Energy is selling, developing a relationship and the 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.”
By pushing innovation, great customer service, and open communication between companies and customers, Badar continues to drive this positive dynamic and differentiate Direct Energy from the rest of the energy company pack. They are not only doing this to take a leading role in the energy sector, but to also encourage other energy companies to make these changes as well. Hopefully changing the energy for good in order to engage and empower the customer.
If you would like to see his full speech at the Energy Thought Summit, you can check it out at the link. Also, make sure you keep an eye out for the upcoming ETS in July that is being held in Chicago, 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 so you don’t miss any major presentations at the next summit. What do you think about the future of energy bills and customer relations? Do you think that Badar Kahn and Direct Energy will change how companies report energy consumption? Leave a comment below!