Affordable Rooftop Solar in the United States

| November 22, 2017

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The plunging costs of solar systems and the broad availability of sunlight mean that rooftop systems are increasingly able to compete with electricity from the grid around the country. By comparing average local electricity costs with the projected average national price of an installed rooftop solar system, we can estimate the percentage of states that may have or may soon have competitive rooftop solar power.

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Outdated perceptions: how energy attitudes are damaging customer wallets

Article | March 22, 2021

Despite rising energy costs and dwindling customer ratings of the ‘Big Six’, over 37% of Brits still believe they are getting a good deal when it comes to gas and electricity. Here, Keith Bastian, CEO of rising independent Outfox the Market, challenges those age-old perceptions that are damaging consumer bank balances… I have never quite understood the notion of pay more for the same service. Except that last part, is really where the difference lies. As I have made my way through the energy market, it seems clear to me that we are facing a common notion. Age-old dinosaurs, that have relied on name status and brand power to retain customer loyalty, despite not providing anything different or any value-added service, give the impression that customers are somehow safer with them. That is the biggest misconception. We at Outfox the Market would like to challenge that. Of course, when I speak in such a way, I am referring to the ‘Big Six’, those long-established brands whose share in the energy market whilst substantial, is increasingly coming at the cost to its customers. For example, in the latest independent customer rankings from Which, it was determined that the traditional big energy companies had some of the lowest scores for customer service and value for money, yet some customers still feel secure with them. On the contrary, rising independents, such as ourselves, were scoring highly in these areas and this is where I feel the difference lies. Regardless of your opinion on fossil fuels and/or renewables, it is more the value of looking after your customers, understanding their concerns and dealing with them efficiently that has become somewhat lost for the ‘Big Six’. It is true that they have a larger proportion of customers to serve with a larger workforce, but that should not be to the detriment to the service they provide. What were are seeing now, as evidenced by the recent Ofgem price hikes, is the ‘Big Six’ once again failing consumers in these areas, with most of the top names putting costs up by £96 a year on average as of April. I am not one to not acknowledge that energy firms are tongue-tied in some respects in passing regulated costs on; there are times when we must. However, customers could also benefit from a little research. Even with growing numbers of consumers switching, nearly 60% of all households in the UK are still on standard variable rate tariffs, those that are subject to the incoming Ofgem hikes. So, the real question is why aren’t more customers switching? Heritage, loyalty and brand association. These facets really should not come at cost of paying more for energy. I really believe it is down to time-sensitivity and a misunderstanding around the barriers to switching, with cost somewhere in the middle. According to MoneySuperMarket, 75% of us would switch if we could save £149.99. A hefty figure, but why not the £96 highlighted earlier? That is still pretty good, and something that would add up nicely over the years. I understand we are time-poor as a nation, it’s well publicised, but we’re all well averse in switching phone contracts and insurance deals, so why not where our energy comes from? Truth be told, I believe it’s an age-old notion that energy is ‘just something that comes with the house, not worth the hours or hassle to change.’ But in all honesty, it takes a matter of seconds to switch. Firms such as ourselves offer this and more via a quick and easy quote online. Best of all, many energy providers will help manage the switching process for you, contacting your current provider and notifying them of your intentions. I would also like to challenge this notion that once an energy firm ‘gets you’, you are ‘locked in’ for years upon end in ever rising contract costs. If you are on a standard variable tariff, you can switch to a new provider at any time. What’s more, even if you are in a fixed term energy deal, which can be subject to exit fees, sometimes the cost involved outweighs the savings you can make with your new provider. Customers must do their best to ask more of energy firms, check the service they are being given and hold it up against national bill averages. Compare what your neighbours, friends and family are paying under similar living circumstances, and weigh up if you are being given a fair deal. Living costs and regulated price hikes are always going to be an ever present worry, so I call on both customers and energy firms to do their due diligence in these respects. Age-old energy firms relying on their reputation must take a serious inward look at their lessening market share to understand why they are failing customers. It’s time to make a change now, both from business attitude and a consumer standpoint; switching is quick, easy and a vital notion to bear in mind, as both retaining custom and saving money becomes an ever-growing sticking point in the energy market.

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Top 5 Things to Look For in a Sustainable Energy Partner

Article | March 22, 2021

Organizations worldwide are prioritizing renewable energy as a path to achieving increasingly ambitious sustainability goals. Many organizations are committing to 100 percent sourced renewable energy through initiatives like RE100. When sustainability goals are publicized, the stakes for achievement are high. Increasingly, consumers and stakeholders want details about environmental impacts. Setting sustainability targets coincides with the rapid evolution of conventional energy supply. However, the complexity of renewables and their potential impact on business operations remain a primary concern. Successfully navigating this new landscape calls for more than just a power supplier; an energy partner who understands your needs and commitments is essential.

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Artificial Intelligence in the energy sector: opportunities and challenges

Article | March 22, 2021

AI is certainly the talk about the hour nowadays. In high-tech industry, AI is the one with most potential. But before proceeding and discussing further on this exciting technology, we’d like to first understand what AI means-: As power is being generated from more volatile sources like solar and wind, the requirement is that power generation must react intelligently to consumption (and vice versa). With AI, we can evaluate, analyse and control participants connected to each other via these smart grids. With modern day emphasis on climate changes and increasing pressure to reduce CO2 emissions, we must find ways to have most of our power generated from renewable resources. The problem with renewable sources of energy are that they are unpredictable, which makes production of energy periodical and sometimes even chaotic. With renewable sources, there can be power outages or too much power generation which needs to be controlled. Smart storage, also known as Intelligent Energy Storage(IES) can effectively handle these disrupt changes in power supply.

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How smart solar inverters can save you money

Article | March 22, 2021

Traditionally, home solar inverters have had just one key function in support of your home solar installation: They convert the direct current moving out of your solar panels to alternating current your home appliances use. Over the past decade, inverter technology has advanced to add enhanced capabilities like data monitoring, communication, and executive functioning. In these ways, inverters have absolutely become more intelligent. These smarts don’t just help prevent blackouts, they can also save you a significant amount of cash over time. In this article, we introduce you to three ways a smart inverter can save you money: smart charging, standby mode and home energy monitoring.

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