Consumers like predictable bills. It is always an unpleasant feeling when you receive an unexpected overage charge on a phone bill, or a higher than average water bill. A recent article by Business Wire highlights a company named Bidgely that capitalizes on this consumer desire. Essentially, Bidgely collects utility usage data and gives users actionable energy saving insights and alerts users when a bill is projected to be unusually high. Both the article that was published on Business Wire and Bidgely’s website does not provide details on how their predictive analytics algorithm works, but ideally, it would factor in things like the weather forecast to predict how much energy the furnace or other appliances would use under differing circumstances. In addition to insights and forecasting, they provide a breakdown of annual energy cost per appliance. Their website states, “may utilities are enamored with marketplace solutions to generate additional revenue and drive engagement; however […] appliance itemization and home audits are preferred by consumers […] over a marketplace solution.” Essentially, they conducted a survey that shows consumers want data-driven insights, in the form of “home audits.”
The interesting business intelligence insight, highlighted by this startup, is that there is a large market for providing analytics and cost-saving tips to consumers. Other companies have provided similar insight with great success. Nest has revolutionized the smart thermostat, Mint has provided budgetary tips for monitoring credit cards and bank accounts, and now Bidgely is innovating in the utility space. Bidgely, as a startup, just closed a series C funding of $27M. This should be a signal to utility companies. Right now, utility companies have a unique position in providing consumers with highly sought-after data-driven insights. They can implement them relatively easily, as they already monitor energy usage per household. They simply need a data scientist, along with the proper BI dashboards, to effectively convey the collected data to consumers. More broadly, it would be interesting to see the demand for predictive analytics in other industries with fluctuating bills, including cell-phone providers, water companies, or natural gas. With consumers constantly becoming more tech-savvy and financially aware, these companies have a great opportunity to provide these predictive insights to consumers.
- “Bidgely Closes $27M Series C to Grow Artificial Intelligence Solution for Utilities and Energy Retailers.” Bidgely Closes $27M Series C to Grow Artificial Intelligence Solution for Utilities and Energy Retailers | Business Wire. January 16, 2018. Accessed January 25, 2018. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180116005615/en/Bidgely-Closes-27M-Series-Grow-Artificial-Intelligence.
- Bidgely Blog. Accessed January 25, 2018. http://www.bidgely.com/blog/