Why Pay Retail? Griddy Says It Offers Wholesale Electricity Prices

Houston—Griddy wants to bring the Costco model to retail energy: Pay a membership fee; get wholesale prices for electricity.

“Griddy, through the mobile app membership, connects the home right to the wholesale price,” says Gregory Craig, Griddy’s CEO. “There’s no margin, no surprises, no hidden markups.”

Craig claims that Griddy can provide retail power at prices 30 percent cheaper than any other provider in Texas, saving homeowners about $500 a year. Monthly memberships cost $9.99.

This is how it works: Members log into the Griddy app, which will switch electricity customers from their current utility to Griddy. (Cancellation and other termination-related fees would apply.) Craig says customers are usually switched in about three days to Griddy, which would then provide power. Griddy is directly connected to ERCOT, or the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s wholesale spot market for electricity. State laws that deregulated the state’s electricity market allowed municipally-owned utilities to opt-out of ERCOT, which is why a few places, like Austin, would not be a market for Griddy.

In addition to plugging into cheaper prices, Craig says Griddy can help its customers save even more money through “Griddy alerts,” real-time messages notifying customers when energy prices are especially high or low so they can adjust their usage accordingly. “The price changes in Texas every five minutes,” Craig says. “If prices are low, that’s when you might want to charge the electric car.”

In fact, Craig says customer should be able to better capitalize on times when the prices actually go into negative territory. He says last year in Texas, there were more than 550 instances when electricity prices were negative for a 140-hour stretch. “If you have a fixed-price plan, you can never take advantage of that,” Craig says. “That’s when you can get an energy credit. And with all the renewable sources coming online, those instances are doubling every year for the past four years.”

Mitch Jacobson, co-director of the ATI Clean Energy Incubator in Austin, says he thinks Griddy “is on to something.”

“If they can do what they say they can do, it’s impressive,” … Next Page »

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Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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