27 Dec Part 1 – Your Virtual Utility
Part 1 | YOUR VIRTUAL UTILITY | The nation’s leading, next-generation utility…
Dear Family, Friends & Partners of Zenergy,
I would like to take some time today to talk about our newly minted slogan and catch phrase, “your virtual utility” and “the nation’s leading, next-generation utility.” However, before we arrive at truly defining what these mean, we must first understand what exactly we are posturing or contrasting ourselves against; specifically, I am referring to what is commonly known as “legacy utilities.” This is the type of company that many of us grew up with, and certainly generations before us know this model all too well. While some of this demographic finds comfort or stability in this stoic business model, we now know for certain that this model is quite frequently, if not always, at odds with today’s demands, concerns and desires; especially for consumers in search of cost-efficient, responsible energy solutions.
The legacy utility represents the old legacy systems and an outdated way of thinking about energy commodities—a longstanding dinosaur so to speak. Moreover, in many parts of the world, it even represents pollution and the purposeful neglect of environmental responsibility. As one begins to understand the utility business model, you realize it is an archaic system that has resisted change for 100 years, or even longer in some places. It is a model is built on the basis of selling to the end-use consumer as many kilowatt-hours of electricity, natural gas and other commodities as possible. It has very little, if any, incentive to show end-use consumers how to conserve these utilities, at least not without any type of subsidy, which in the end comes from tax payers.
Fittingly, there was a time when getting a job at one of these legacy utilities was considered “the dream” as potential employees were looking to invest 20 or 30 years of their careers with one of these companies so they could retire with a nice pension. So, not only do these utilities have an obsolete business model, they also remain beholden to a legacy set of systems, culture and financials. Talk about ties that bind. To put it plainly, the systems, structure, culture, business processes and the decision-making frameworks within these utility mindsets are so different from any modern company. Remember, they didn’t even consider the end-user a customer, but rather, a “ratepayer.” Having said that, please don’t misunderstand me, I for one believe in the American Dream that is to create long-lasting jobs wherein men and women can retire and retire nicely; however, not at the expense of customers, but instead at the privilege of having provided real value to the marketplace.
When you consider that most of the (energy) grid was built back in the 1960s and ‘70s and recognize how quickly technology changes and evolves today, you can gain a real appreciation for just how archaic the legacy model is. Today, innovation begets innovation and every six to 12 months, new technologies emerge to replace the older ones. Now, this is a very difficult concept to understand, because while the system is antiquated, it is indeed the system that we have and the one we must depend on. Moreover, there is still the entire dynamic of emergency response, and while I am certainly for deregulation and definitely a capitalist, there are some things that should remain regulated—maintenance and support of the actual infrastructure for one. Emergency response teams, access to electricity, natural gas and water should be on equal footing for all citizens; period. For this exclusive purpose, the legacy utility business model has served us well; and it should continue to serve us in this capacity.
As a native Houstonian, during the recent hurricane and floods I got to witness the rapid response and supreme support that came from many of these regulated utility entities and it was a true honor to witness. Therefore, I must reiterate that there shouldn’t be any privatization of infrastructure support and one cannot simply throw away the existing infrastructure in one fell swoop. Moreover, I certainly do not want to demonize the utilities, like I said – the respective infrastructure and required reliability is essential. My main theme herein, is that there are a myriad of other important services, that impact commodity cost, usage and efficiencies, all of which are equally important and if executed correctly will not add value to end-use customers, but can actually reduce costs across the entire system.
Before I dive in too deeply, I will stop here for now because I feel that I have made several major points, each of which can warrant its own respective blog topic. As you contemplate the various points above, such as the age of equipment and logic used, or perhaps the fact that you and I were never even considered “customers” but instead were legally and technically referred to as a “ratepayers”… it becomes very obvious as to what we at Zenergy mean to convey, when we refer to ourselves as “the virtual utility” or use the catch phrase of “the nation’s next-generation utility.” We hold sternly that the manner in which electricity, natural gas and/or water has been bought, sold and traded the past 100 years will not be the manner in which it is bought and sold the over next 25 years.
Through programs such as our Zero-Cost Program™, Zenergy is able to provide conservation and sustainability services in a cost-effective manner that most utility companies cannot provide. Moreover, we provide such technologies as a service, wherein the customer can receive the economic benefit of these services, while at the same time the demand on our grid is reduced and the environment is positively impacted; Oh and by the way, the customer doesn’t have to pay a premium for being environmentally responsible.
This concludes part one (1) of the Virtual Utility Series, more to come. And if you have not already done so, we invite you to please subscribe to our newsletter on our corporate website, zenergybrands.com to stay up to date on all company happenings and to follow us on all of our social media platforms:
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