You’ve probably groaned about your electricity bill before.
Cmon, at least once!
The fact is, electricity rates have been rising for years.
in 1997, electricity rates averaged 8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). In 2018, the national average is well over 13 cents per kWh. In some places, even more.
Hawaii led the nation at 29.23 cents per kWh in 2017 with Alaska a close second at 21.46 cents per kWh.
Massachusetts and New Hampshire were third and fourth most expensive at 19.94 cents per kWh and 19.01 cents per kWh, respectively.
In contrast, residential solar fell to between 12.9 and 16.7 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh) in the United States for 2017.
Costs continue to fall, although the recent tariff on foreign imports may see a rise in cost for the time being. Worth noting, this cost was before federal, state and local subsidies.
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), solar cost fell by 6% for the residential market, 15% for the commercial market and 29% for the utility-scale market in 2017.
As we see here, the homeowner cost of solar continues to fall while the cost of standard grid electricity continues to rise.
In addition, as a variety of market forces lead towards decentralization, the appeal of autonomous homes with storage solutions as part of a decentralized but interconnected smart grid becomes increasingly appealing to the average consumer.
Consumers are becoming increasingly disenfranchised with limited options provided by oftentimes biased, centralized service providers.
Disruptions such as Uber and Airbnb demonstrate market demand for innovative solutions in both the transportation and hospitality markets. Blockchain technology offers a next step perspective by both creating public records and decentralizing standard models, most commonly seen in the currency markets.
Is the energy sector next?
So what can we do?
As a direct marketer, it pains me to say this.
Awareness is key.
There are a variety of ways that awareness can be raised, but in that process, it’s essential to ask, where is the consumer spending time.
You may be somewhat depressed if you reviewed your RescueTime analytics related to social media usage. Many of us would, including myself!
As an advertiser, the combination available on social media of hyper-targeting, retargeting and varied content allows for a user to reach a new audience directly based on their interests, behaviors and demographics.
Retargeting can be used to create sequences for direct marketing objectives.
You probably think I’m pitching you right now.
Here’s why this technology is critical for disruption.
We all agree that there is significant financial and environmental incentive for a homeowner to invest.
But what if they don’t know that?
Trade shows are great, but only for those who attend.
Door knocking will be frowned on, especially with millennial homeowners that have been raised in a culture distrusting of strangers. Combined with poor training, this can damage a company. I’ve seen poor reviews because of this exact combination.
This is where content marketing with an informative and educational focus based on the benefits of solar enters.
Videos and articles retargeted to lead generation campaigns allow for the homeowner to approach the information where they are (on social media), as well as with the choice to engage by viewing the content or they can keep scrolling to the next most relevant piece of content for their individual interests.
This empowers the homeowner and allows the marketer to create a sequence that guides them through a sales process.
Using retargeting, content marketing and direct marketing objectives.
As storage options continue to normalize in price, the homeowner will increasingly become more likely to invest in a comprehensive solution that allows for energy autonomy in an often crisis-filled world.
Research and development in battery technology continues, especially around whether lithium-ion will remain the core technology for batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries can be volatile and are limited in storage capacity, although creating scalable alternatives is an ongoing process. There’s interesting work occurring with both graphene and solid-state batteries, as well as others that may be beyond my current scope.
This combination of both lack of awareness as to the benefits of solar and lack of access to cost-effective storage solutions means that disruption is challenged.
Effective solutions to these problems as well as continuing cost reduction will quickly lead to disruption, creating a decentralized energy infrastructure with each home functioning as a fully autonomous unit, interconnected as part of the whole.
There’s interesting innovation occurring with companies in the blockchain space to combine public ledgers with energy creation and distribution to reward energy creators who have excess power to share.
All in all, a promising future!
And with that…
Here’s to the beautiful and sustainable future for all.
Sincerely and with gratitude,
Founder, AI Digital Suite