About Griddy Energy
California-based provider Griddy Energy is a unicorn in the deregulated US electricity market. Unlike other retail electricity providers (REPs), it offers residential customers access to the wholesale electricity market for a monthly membership fee of $9.99.
Why would you want that? In theory, by purchasing electricity for its real-time wholesale price, without the retail energy providers’ mark up, you should see your monthly electric bill go down. In fact, there are instances when the electricity price is negative, which means that you essentially earn money for using it. The other extreme is the wholesale energy rates spikes (more on that later).
Griddy Energy serves the Texas market since 2017. Customers can sign up online and after paying an initial amount of $49 into your account, you are good to go.
Since Griddy is a pay-as-you-go service, customers need to maintain a positive balance on their account at all times, or it will be switched off. When your account balance drops to $25, Griddy automatically recharges you the same amount ($25) to keep your account from going into minus. There are no contracts or early termination fees with Griddy, so customers are free to switch at any time.
To get in touch with Griddy customer service, customers can
- call 1-800-993-6207
- email [email protected]
- reach out via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
How Do Wholesale Markets Work?
While purchasing power at the real-time price may sound like a good thing, it comes with risks you have to be aware of.
For starters, the wholesale price of electricity changes approximately every 5 minutes, which means that predicting how much electricity will cost you that day becomes very difficult. You can see your electric bills going up and down on a daily basis, due to reasons completely out of your control.
This represents a direct contrast with the fixed-rate contracts, offered by other competitive electric suppliers where the price you pay per kWh of energy will not change for the duration of your contract.
How do other suppliers avoid the volatility connected with the wholesale energy market? The majority of retail electricity providers buy forward contracts at different times of the year, which means that they can offer fixed rate prices without worrying about the hourly fluctuations of the wholesale prices.
To avoid the high energy costs associated with the price spikes, Griddy Energy encourages customers to shift their electricity usage to the times when the electricity prices are low (and turn off their appliances when the price spikes).
Customers are notified about these price spikes by real-time alerts that Griddy sends through its app. In theory, when the price reaches a certain threshold, you should switch off your appliances. When it goes down again, you can turn them back on. However, it can be hard for an ordinary person to turn off the air-conditioning or a washing machine at a minute’s notice, especially when you are sitting in your office on the other side of the town.
Heat waves, unplanned power outages, and similar unpredictable circumstances will cause the electricity spot-price unexpected spikes. True, steep spikes are not too common but if you find yourself unable to reduce your usage when the wholesale electricity cost suddenly goes up, it can end up costing you dearly. Last August when the wholesale rate in the electricity market went up to $9/kWh, customers who didn’t turn off their appliances in time reported a sky-high jump in the daily bill.
This is not to discourage you from choosing Griddy Energy as your electricity supplier. But the wholesale electricity market is not for everyone. If you someone that enjoys the comfort of a steady no-surprises electric bill, you might want to enter your zip code to search for fixed electricity rates.
Why Choose Griddy Energy
There are of course some great benefits to being a Griddy customer.
|Griddy mobile app - Griddy has done a great job with the mobile app for customers. In it, you can see your past usage, paid rates, and prices for any timeframe you choose. Griddy will also send you real-time notifications, alerting you to price spikes and nudging you to reduce your usage.|
Home automation - Rather than having to rush home and turn off your appliances manually when the spot prices are high, you can also set up customized triggers to switch your power off automatically, when the wholesale electricity rate goes up (for example to 30 cents per kWh). All you need is to own a programmable thermostat and to set up an account with IFTTT (If This Then That) and you can start setting up action-based triggers for your home.
|Referral program - For anyone you refer to Griddy, you both get a $50 credit. This credit will be applied to both your and your friend's account after your referral has been an active Griddy customer for 30 days. You can find the referral link directly in the Griddy app.|
|Griddy’s Solar Program - If you own solar panels, Griddy also gives you an option to further lower your bill by getting credits for any excess generation from your solar panels. In Griddy's unique model, you get credit for the full amount of generation up to your electricity usage in each 15-minute interval.|
How Does Home Automation Work
Griddy energy partnered with a freeware web-based service IFTTT (If This Than That) that creates chains of simple conditional statements, called applets.
What does that have to do with your electric bill?
Well, through the IFTTT platform, Griddy enables you to automatically control your home with a programmable thermostat to avoid wholesale electricity prices peak hours.
When you, the customer, create a free IFTTT account, you will be able to link your smart thermostat to one of Griddy customized triggers, that will automatically reduce the electric load of your home device when the condition is met.
For example, you can create the following condition:
- “If wholesale electricity prices exceed 15 ¢/kWh, then reduce the AC output by 5°F”
- “If the wholesale electricity rate goes back below 7 ¢/kWh, then resume the programmed schedule”
These commands will then be executed by automatic switching on and off of your home appliances to ensure the most efficient utilization, which according to Griddy is able to shave an additional $100 of your annual energy bill.
How is Griddy able to do that?
Griddy shares the energy spot price on the IFTTT platform. The platform supports numerous smart thermostat brands. including Ecobee, Honeywell or Smart Plugs (Nest recently discontinued its partnership with IFTTT). The manufacturers of these smart home devices allow IFTTT-based control of their devices, meaning they will allow automatic reduction of the energy load, based on the pre-set criteria.
Compare Gridy Energy Rates
Residential Electricity rates
If the above made you think that Griddy Energy might be the right choice for you, you can sign up directly on the website – all you need to do is to set up an account and Griddy will contact you with the next steps.
However, if you are the kind of person who is willing to forgo the benefits of the wholesale electricity price dips for the peace of mind that comes with a competitive rate that is fixed for 12 months or more, stop reading and enter your zip code to compare the rates offered by other suppliers in your area.
Commercial Electricity Rates
Commercial customers can also enjoy access to wholesale electricity rates. The only difference is that the cost of the monthly membership is dependent on your previous year’s usage, rather than a flat $10 fee. If you are interested in discussing the energy options for your enterprise, you can reach out to Griddy Energy’s business customer service by email on [email protected]
You can however also shop for Texas commercial rates offered by other electric suppliers. It is always good to cross-check the rate you found with other offers to ensure that you are not missing out on a better deal.
Griddy Energy Customer Reviews
Customer reviews can be very misleading. Customers, who take the time to leave a review are often motivated either by a particularly negative, one-off experience with their energy provider or somehow incentivized to write a positive, and not always truthful review. That is not to say that all online reviews are untrue, but a healthy dose of skepticism is warranted when scrolling through a website with a streak of five-star reviews.
However, there are a couple of relatively unbiased institutions that seek to improve trust between Texans and businesses – a non-profit market analyst Better Business Bureau and the regulatory institution Public Utility Commission of Texas.
- To read Griddy reviews, customer complaints and understand the BBB rating for Griddy Energy, visit Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- For information on how Griddy compares with other Texas providers, check out the customer complaints statistics by visiting the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
Below are answers to some of the questions you might have about Griddy Energy.
How does Griddy Energy work?
Instead of a fixed rate, Griddy Energy connects customers directly to wholesale electricity prices, that change every 5 minutes. Griddy offers this service on a monthly subscription fee of $10. This unique business model carries both perks and disadvantages. On the plus side, the customer is able to access energy at the rates offered to other retail providers, without the added mark-up. The disadvantage is that the wholesale energy price can be very volatile – with unexpected spikes, costing you dearly on your energy bills.
Do I have to pay a deposit with Griddy Energy?
No. Because of the risks associated with the Griddy Energy business model, you don’t have to pay the deposit when you sign up for energy service. You are also free to switch to another supplier at any time, without any early cancellation fees.
How do I pay my Griddy Energy bill?
Griddy Energy works on a pay-as-you-go basis. When you set up an account, you are charged $49 to pay for your future electricity usage. When your account balance reaches the minimum amount of $25, your account is automatically recharged using your card on file. You always need to maintain a positive balance, otherwise, your service will be discontinued.
Where do I report a power outage?
Even when you switch your power supplies to Griddy Energy, it is still the responsibility of your state utility company to safely deliver the electricity to your door. It is also them, whom you should notify in case of a power outage. The power outage contact information for individual utility companies can be found here.