And the electricity bill went "click"
Click is the most recognisable onomatopoeia for the sound of a switch being turned on. Click and darkness become a scenario that human sight cannot decipher. Click and shadows convert into meanings. Unfortunately, this brief gesture, so simple and effective, is often accompanied by an electricity bill that not even Thomas Edison would have been able to decipher.
The energy consumption market is increasingly demanding transparency, simplicity, efficiency and a greater consumer focus. In this context, Dominion, through its Smart House projects and its energy marketing partner company Alterna, is going for a new model based on an element that is as simple as it is disruptive: providing an electricity bill that lets the customer understand the service that has been contracted.
“We are an energy marketer and our aim is to provide an electricity bill that is simple in which the customer can easily understand what he/she has contracted, what is being paid for, and with the option of saving”, explains the founding partner of Alterna, Fernando Usera.
Alterna acts as a broker between the end customer and all companies that intervene so that users can have electricity and gas supplies in their homes or companies. The company deals with the management of consumption so that the customer pays as little as possible and also achieves something that only seemed possible for a few brilliant minds until now: read an electricity bill and understand what is in it.
“We buy the energy and we supply it at low cost with simple invoices. The average consumer is not an expert in energy. We analyse the level of consumption and explain the rate that suits the consumer best. We also offer a variable rate, structured in periods in which the power supplied has a different price. That way, users can concentrate their consumption in the time bands that cost less and thus pay less in the end of the month”, adds Usera.
The savings are passed on to the customer for two basic reasons: 1) for 14 hours a day the price of energy falls by half, so users can use a wide time band to consume at lower prices; 2) another element that makes rates lower is that Alterna has a lean, dynamic structure that allows it to offer more competitive rates than the large companies of the sector.
“If our customers take advantage of the times when energy is cheaper their consumption is lower. Our approach is based on having a broad customer base rather than charging higher prices", says Mr Usera.
Alterna's offer is one of the pillars of Dominion's new offer of integrated personal and domestic services, called ‘Smart House’, that is being taken to the customers through Phone House’s commercialization channels.
It is a model that centralises domestic services such as electricity, internet connection or insurance in a single platform. The system seeks to offer a whole range of personal and home services, including energy.
“Alterna is one of the services within Smart House, a platform that combines the invoices of the different supplies that a household needs”, he adds.
Smart House’s main aim is to offer users the possibility of managing and controlling their needs in a simple way, improving the consumer experience and exploiting the potential of the digital home of the future.
As well as proposing a simple formula aimed at savings, Alterna works with the non-profit organisation Redondando through an initiative that allows consumers to round up their bills by a few centimes to allocate money to actions against against energy poverty. Yet another reason for the electricity bill to be filled with light.