As we approach National Energy Shopping Day on June 21, 2021, the first day of summer, the importance of retail choice in gas and electricity has become a more important conversation than ever. The world is changing rapidly and several trends in particular mean that preserving and expanding the right for consumers and businesses to choose their energy provider is critical.
Here are three of today’s most compelling trends the Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) sees as driving the need for choice:
TREND 1: CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change is no longer just a problem for public officials to address. People make choices daily to do their part and reduce their environmental impact. Sales of electric and hybrid vehicles are on the rise, new construction of commercial buildings include LEED certifications, and consumers are paying more attention to energy ratings of new appliances. Many products are touting their reduced waste impact and recycled content in an effort to appeal to customers. Awareness of the impact every individual can make is transforming the global effort to decarbonize, from a governmental issue into a personal one. The ability for customers to buy a clean energy product from a supplier of their choice fits right into this trend. For those looking to reduce their carbon impact, the range of product options available from a marketplace of suppliers, as opposed to a single option from their utility, is a great benefit.
TREND 2: TECHNOLOGY
We have seen the rise of technology companies within financial markets propelled to ever higher valuations by investors betting on the future. In the energy space this has produced an exciting increase in the adoption of technologies to produce, store and manage the consumption of electricity. Solar panels, battery storage, back-up generators, energy efficiency measures and even payments for interruption at critical times, known as “demand response,” have moved from the fringe to the mainstream. This will only accelerate as new federal requirements will now require power grid operators to facilitate the aggregation of and compensation to the owners of these technologies. Navigating, evaluating and choosing among the array of offerings will require customers to have a place they can go for information and guidance. Reaching out to your retail electric or gas supplier is the ideal place to start. Suppliers can explain how energy markets work and help customers understand the trade-offs among energy choices, including new technologies.
TREND 3: CONTROL
As RESA’s polling shows, consumers and businesses overwhelmingly want choice. That’s because choice gives customers more control — control over price, control over environmental impact and control over who they want to do business with and who they do not. In a world that is changing rapidly consumers and businesses don’t want to float along with the tide, they want to lock down the source, supply and cost of the things they need the most, and this definitely includes energy.
As these trends continue to evolve, the role of RESA as an advocate for choice has never been more important than now. National Energy Shopping Day is the perfect time to remind consumers that currently enjoy choice, to exercise their right to shop periodically for new offers or products that are available in their market.