Tesla leads the consumer fight back28 Jan 2018, Posted by NEWS in
In the late 1880’s, Thomas Edison along with funding from JP Morgan helped define the way we get served domestic energy. It started with generators in a few ‘well to do’ homes in New York but then spread to small micro-grids and eventually the model we recognise today where large generators feed down energy through a large distributed network. This model made Edison and Morgan very rich indeed – a lot of this success was made possible with the help of his then protégé Nikola Tesla.
The end users were delighted with their new gasless lighting and this model was quickly rolled out across large North American and European cities. The beauty of this model (engineered by Morgan and Edison) meant that all end users pay upstream to the generator and distributor of the energy to power their new lighting and appliances. This model hasn’t changed in over a hundred years and today makes generators, retailers and distributors of energy very healthy profits. Unfortunately for the consumer it has meant they are just a helpless consumer who have in recent times been continually ripped off and dictated to.
Thanks to technological advancements in solar, batteries and a certain Elon Musk this is all changing. Musk has made energy cool with his cars, solar tiles and home batteries. In fact, a whopping 91% of Tesla car owners saying they’d buy a Tesla vehicle if they had it to do all over again. He’s not the only player in this transition but he has the public and media attention (much like Edison did all that time ago). The irony in Musk’s chosen business name, Tesla, is brilliant. Nikola Tesla fought a very public stoush against the greedy Edison and Morgan – eventually losing out to their underhanded manoeuvres and clearly having his intellectual property stolen and commercialised.
Tesla is now a very cool brand with a growing and loyal band of followers there were 373,000 pre-orders that rolled in for the new Model 3 each with a $1,000 deposit for a car that won’t be available until later this year. The early adopters of Electric Vehicles, home batteries and solar are motivated by more than a cool brand. They want to be in control of the energy at their home and for their vehicle. What stronger message to the power companies (including oil companies) that they don’t like being ripped off. Being a ripped off, trodden on and disrespected consumer is a powerful emotion and motivator.
Here at Knowledge Global we have actively taken a stance for the consumer to help the fight back and make sure the best deals in the market are easily and conveniently found. We also will help support in the transition to energy control, by supporting commercial decision making (i.e. when should I consider solar, batteries, switching tariffs). Today, consumers in Australia can upload their latest energy bills to their current retailer or competing retailer’s website and get a fair comparison in seconds. This helps make sure they are on the best deal with a few simple clicks. No phone calls needed. The tool is also available on independent sites such as Victoria’s Energy Compare site which covers all retailer’s plans.
We want consumers to be empowered and support the notion of turning the current energy model on its head by assuming greater control. This transition has started and we strongly believe that the change will happen much more quickly than expected (you only need to look at the way the big retailers are re-inventing themselves for proof). I am sure the great Nikola Tesla would wear a wry smile if he could see what was happening in the energy market today.