How a Houston Small Business Saved 53% on Electricity with Griddy’s 8-Point Inspection

By: Jeremy Zarowitz

How a Houston Small Business Saved 53% on Electricity with Griddy’s 8-Point Inspection

A few months ago, we got an email from Joanne, an accountant at a small business in Houston, desperately searching for ways to lower her electricity bill. Her company, TS, manufactures and sells fine granite and quartz countertops, and her electricity bills were unbelievably high. She (shockingly) had a pretty competitive energy-only rate from Reliant but was getting crushed by the sky-high delivery charges from CenterPoint, her local TDU.

Even though she was paying only 4.8₵/kWh for energy – a reasonable rate, though still much higher than wholesale – her total rate was 38.4₵/kWh! She didn’t know what she could do to lower her bills, so she reached out to Griddy. She sent over her historical usage data so we could help her get to the bottom of these outrageous delivery charges.

We instantly found the problem and were more than excited to help Joanne save. But then an idea struck: Could we expand this analysis, this inspection, to all of our members?

The Beginning

“So, what can we do to save our business members more money?”

I looked up and my boss is at my desk, watching me intensely.  I knew the question was coming as I’d been preparing for this conversation for weeks after helping out Joanne – researching, studying, and understanding the data. I took a moment to compose myself and collect my thoughts. Then I dove into it. 

“Similar to our residential members, our business members get a lot of value simply by having access to wholesale electricity prices.  But here’s the thing – the TDU passthrough charges for commercial users is highly complex, can be incredibly expensive, and no REP bothers to do anything about it.  We can help our business members, but it will take a LOT of work on our end to make it happen.”

As I showed him data point after data point, it was clear we could help – it was also clear it would be a big investment on our end. After I went through the game plan of all the work it would take to make this happen, I started getting nervous that this program I’d spent weeks planning would get sidelined. Then, at the end of our meeting, my boss gave me the greenlight in a way that totally validated why I work here and why I’m so passionate about Griddy. 

“Yes, this will cost us money and we likely won’t get anything in return.  But it’s good for our members, so we should do it.”

Introducing Griddy’s 8-Point Inspection

I’m proud to introduce our Griddy 8-Point Inspection program – a free service that seeks to help our business members understand their TDU (transmission and distribution utilities) passthrough costs and how they can use that information to save. The result is additional savings in the hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a year.

The Griddy 8-Point Inspection is yet another value-added service which Griddy offers that no other provider does. We used our combined decades of energy expertise to create a program which helps our business members understand their TDU delivery charges, analyzes their usage patterns, identifies the drivers of their demand peaks and provides practical, customized recommendations in order to save even more money by lowering their TDU passthrough costs.

The TDUs base their commercial delivery charges on “peak demand” – the most amount of energy you’ve used at any one time – not how much energy you used in total. This is because the TDUs have to build the pole-and-wire infrastructure to support the system during the times of extreme usage. So if your business only uses 1 kW of power throughout most of the month, but for one moment your usage shoots up to 100 kW, the system still needs to be robust enough to serve that 100 kW of load. So the TDU will charge you delivery based on 100 kW. What’s more, if your peak demand in a given month goes over 20 kW, they’ll use that peak to calculate your delivery charges for the next 12 months! There are also multiple tiers and designations which change what and how they charge businesses. Understanding what those are, whether you are in the correct designation, and how to avoid being in a more costly designation is critical.

What the 8-Point Inspection Reveals?

And now back to Joanne, our friendly accountant. We realized her peak demand had just barely crossed over 20 kW 10 months earlier, and she was still paying for that peak even though her usage since then had mostly stayed below 7 kW. The analysis identified several practical solutions for balancing her usage and keeping the peak demand under 20 kW.

After our helpful analysis, Joanne signed up for Griddy and has since saved hundreds of dollars a year on her electricity bill. She has kept her peak usage below 20 KW, which means her delivery charges are now only based on her peak demand for the month instead of the peak for the last 12 months. Her total rate is now half what it was before she switched and continues to drop each month.

Why does Griddy have an 8-Point Inspection?

At Griddy, one of our key founding principles is to constantly seek to add value for our members however and wherever we can. When the only money you make is a flat, monthly membership – and you don’t have any contracts to lock people in – adding value to our members to make sure they are happy and saving money is critical to success.

A lot of energy companies say they’re on your side. They say they want to save you money. But they profit off every additional dollar you pay, and they lose money with every dollar you save. Since Griddy only gets a flat monthly membership no matter how big or small your total bill is, we really have only one objective: save you money so you stay with us longer. We go the extra mile for you, using our energy market knowledge to lower your costs. Other energy companies may be able to get you competitive rates, but none of them care about reducing your TDU costs, none of them bother educating you, and none of them invest the time and resources into researching each member’s specific usage patterns to provide customized solutions.

We’re proud to work for a company that puts our members first. We always look for new ways to add value and we constantly seek to improve our member experience with new features and programs, like our Griddy 8-Point Inspection. Continuous improvement, innovation and value-added services…it’s one more reason to go Griddy!

If you’d like to know how Griddy can help your business reduce your electricity bill, email us at business@gogriddy.com.

Share this article:
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail