In an amazing statement last week, the California PUC announced that significant changes to its regulatory model are coming soon, with huge impact on California’s large investor-owned utilities (IOUs). Prompting this large change are two facts: 25% of IOU load will defect by the end of 2017 and 85% of their load will be gone by the mid 2020s.* Distributed generation, community choice programs and behind-the-meter storage are converging to shake the status quo.
This energy earthquake is the “business-as-usual” case. No regulatory change needed. It will happen. The CPUC is taking action and starting the discussion because it sees that grid health is threatened by the sea change. As that load defects, about $13B of consumer energy spending will be leaving the IOUs.** Where will it go? A CPUC hearing this week starts to explore this question.
One insight is provided by the CPUC itself: “Drivers of change to the California electric system are accelerating whether we want them to or not. Technology will continue to advance and as a result consumers will have more options to meet their energy needs. Customers will seek to use these new developments to further their own needs and interests.”
Here at WattzOn we think the outcome is clear. When the consumer takes control, it will be by smartphone and they will search for the best deal. The Consumerization of Energy is here.
Following other industries that are experiencing disruptive shifts to consumer control, the smartphone becomes a center of personalized data-driven insights. Manage your finances and save for college on your phone. Track your health and see your lab results on your phone. And now, track your energy spending and see your energy choices on your phone: What if we went solar? What if we got an EV? What if we bought power from Company X? The consumer wants personal answers and tailored offers.
Is your company prepared to seize this revenue fleeing the California IOUs? How will you connect with consumers?
The California energy earthquake will shake up markets across the U.S. After all, why should only Californians get the modern consumer control of energy?
Use WattzOn for nationwide utility data access. Add consumer energy data to your application via our APIs and analytics.
California first. Then the nation. Get ready with WattzOn.
** 12 million residential meters x $1100 average annual utility bill = $13.2 billion