Is it time to break up with your utility company?

by Anna Gretz
February 1, 2018
Home Battery

Get ready to have a serious DTR with the power grid.

A lot of utility company customers’ eyes are wandering in the direction of solar power and energy storage… with good reason. Historically, many utilities have viewed their clientele as simply ratepayers, not customers. But in an on-demand economy, people are not ready to settle for ratepayer status--they want to feel like the utility company is giving a little in this relationship. As things stand, utilities aren’t putting a whole lot of energy into their partnership with customers… and if they don’t turn things around, they might just get dumped.

Here’s why customers are second-guessing having a serious sit-down with their utility company:

They’re always asking for money.

In fact, utilities don’t even let a month go by without asking you for another pile of cash. They get especially needy in the summer. Their demands are sometimes unpredictable month to month, making it a little hard to work it into the budget. Funding needs seem to be on an upward trend, too, and you never know how high-maintenance this relationship is going to get.

You’ve heard from your friends with solar that the sun offers clean energy for free, and that if you have a battery, you can even store it to use it whenever you want. Some people pay an up-front cost for panels and batteries, but other people pay for it monthly, and they’re paying waaaay less than you are, and it’s steady year-round (EnergyShield, anyone?)

Can you really afford keeping up with your relationship with your utility company? It’s a question worth asking.

They don’t text you back.

You know your utility has a phone, but they never answer it. Communication in this relationship is bad. It’s like dating a tech-challenged elderly person--hardly any Facebook connections, no Instagram posts, dead Twitter activity, and not even an occasional text. All you get is snail-mail or the occasional email… and you’re not sure if they’ll even get a reply.

And then there’s those friends with solar and storage again, bragging about how their power source moved in, so they can keep close tabs on what’s going on. Some of them even have an app where they can monitor their every move. It sounds amazing.

You can’t count on them to be there when you need them.

This is a big one. One of the biggest complaints about the power grid is that it sometimes goes completely dark when you need it the most. High winds? Big storms? Those nights when all you want to do is Netflix and chill? Boom. The grid goes completely down, and you have no idea when it will come back (because of that communication issue, again.) And then there’s the times when the electricity just up and leaves when you’re in the middle of something. It’s beyond annoying, especially if you don’t have backup.

Some of your friends who have already broken up with their utilities keep them around in the friend zone to use whenever they want… they even store power from the grid when it’s especially cheap to use if they need it… but they don’t rely on their utility in the same way. They don’t need them. They have energy security, and it looks amazing. That’s the kind of commitment you’re looking for.

You don’t like the same stuff.

If you’re trying to clean up your lifestyle, you might find that you and your utility have a major clash of values. Utility companies might be warming up to the idea of clean energy, but using dirty power sources is still pretty prevalent. If you’re pretty into going green right now you’re probably feeling like your utility isn’t really on board, and they’re dragging you down.

Sometimes, when you’re not into the same stuff, it can be a dealbreaker.

Solar and storage live and breath the clean, green lifestyle--you’ll never have to fight with them about it. Actually, they’ll probably make you want to be a better person… that’s just how they are.

Could your utility company really change?

You might have gotten to the point where you start to wonder if you’re utility company is ever going to change. Well, they definitely could. If enough people get together and confront their utility about improving their relationship with customers, it could definitely make a difference. They could pick up their phones, get online, and start participating in the media channels that so many of their customers are already on, and work on their reliability, affordability, and overall quality. This could happen. In fact, it needs to happen if the utilities want to stick around.

But it might take a while.

If you’re ready to start a relationship with a new, exciting way to generate, store, and manage your own power, you might want to tell your utility they’re cut off, and look into solar and energy storage in your own home. If you’re not ready to dump your utility entirely, you can still get in on the secure, clean, reliable energy storage revolution anyway.

Swell Energy developed EnergyShield for people exactly like you.

The grid’s a hot mess, and we all know it. EnergyShield is a bundled package of premium black panel solar generation and a compact lithium-ion storage cell that provides the commitment and security you’re looking for.

Everyone should have the opportunity to protect their own power. Take the first step, and get a free quote here

Having a DTR with your power company is hard, but it might be worth it.