Utilities deserve a tremendous amount of respect for building a powerful system that delivers energy to our homes and businesses safely and (mostly) reliably via a complex system of poles, wires and people to maintain it.
However, this system is a product of the industrial age and has evolved very little over the past 30 years to meet the expectations of the digital era. Additionally, the majority of energy found on the grid today comes from nonrenewable sources, such as fossil fuels, which are a major contributor to climate change. And while some can access alternative sources of energy, such as solar panels — they often require major upfront investments — which are unattainable for many people.
Our energy system is begging for change. According to a recent study conducted by Inspire, nearly eight in 10 consumers want to be part of a clean energy future. To ensure everyone can easily access 100% renewable energy, we need to update the century-and-a-half-old energy industry through innovation. Think of what Amazon did to retail, what Uber did to transportation, and what Netflix did to entertainment. If we are going to accelerate progress on climate change, American energy needs its similar moment.
If we look to these other disruptors for guidance, it is clear to see they were all built with the consumer at the core. Amazon, for example, revolutionized the retail industry by building a software platform that is so appealing, it makes it almost impossible not to use. It’s a simple, consistent experience; provides access to the widest variety of products via one touch; completely removes barriers such as shipping costs; and has the ability to expand into music, entertainment, even brick-and-mortar grocery stores and beyond. The consumer is king for Amazon and countless other models in today’s digital era.
Contrast that with the American energy industry, where the consumer is considered a “rate payer” — consuming energy from the grid and providing payment in return, while lacking any sense of consumer experience, transparency, choice or control. Most concerning for the planet and for future generations, is there’s no incentive for the system to encourage reduced consumption — the more energy the customer uses, the more the energy system benefits. As one of the leading contributors to CO2 globally, the American energy system must make it easier for the consumer to be a participant in the clean energy future.
Inspire’s plan for energy disruption
In 2014, we founded Inspire to undo this model by building a completely digital energy experience —around consumers—with a mission to accelerate the path to a net-zero carbon future. Our model first and foremost provides more choice by making clean energy accessible and easy to use, empowering consumers to be part of the solution to climate change.
The acceleration of clean energy is made possible by our growing team of engineers, creatives, activists, and scientists who are dedicated to answer the call-to-action of our shared home. We embrace leadership, authenticity, mentorship, and a bias towards action — while always putting mission first. We’re committed to creating a level playing field so that everyone has an opportunity to join the movement to fight climate change.
Over the past six years, we’ve developed a membership experience that — through a simple sign-up – allows us to direct clean energy to the grid on a member’s behalf and in turn, increase the demand for clean energy. To date, access to clean energy has helped the Inspire community avoid the equivalent of nearly 5 billion pounds of CO2e.
Now we’re building our digital energy experience to connect consumers to clean energy no matter where they are in the Inspire network. We’re rolling out our digital energy experience nationally starting in November.
Inspire ‘s personalized flat monthly subscription offers unlimited access to 100% clean energy. It’s made possible through an algorithm that can predict what a consumer’s energy usage will look like over time, based on factors like the individual’s historical consumption patterns. The resulting flat subscription price takes the mystery out of variable monthly energy bills and provides a sense of control for customers.
Additionally, Inspire’s technology has the capability to empower consumers with access to clean energy through a mobile experience that provides transparency about the impact they’re making. What’s more, customers are encouraged to consume less energy through built in incentives that save our customers money while promoting clean energy usage. This means that what’s good for the customer, is good for the company, is good for the planet — all three incentives are aligned.
Moving forward, we have plans to expand the Inspire experience nationally and integrate all types of energy systems, including solar management and storage, and expand into electric vehicle charging and connected home devices. With the power of our offering and the trend toward the digitization of everything, our goal is to allow consumers to manage all clean energy needs in one place and eventually move off the grid completely.
This, we believe, is the type of disruption the industry has been waiting for.
In the end, our “Amazon” moment won’t just benefit the individual consumer — it will accelerate the path to a carbon-free future. This is why our growing team of engineers, creatives, activists and scientists are innovating as though the world depends on it, because at the current rate of climate change — it does.
Interested in joining the effort to build a clean energy future? Learn more about career opportunities at Inspire here.
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