Technology, cable, and phone companies are beginning to make their way into the retail energy market.
Columbus Business First
Written by: Tom Knox
A lack of technological innovation and a business model that still clings to a regulated market could soon have the utility industry fighting for relevance among upstarts and businesses new to the power arena.
So-called ‘Technarians at the Gate’ – technology, cable and phone companies – have started “to cast a covetous eye on the utility industry’s customers and revenue by exploiting the portals that they already have into tens of millions of American homes,” Bloomberg reports.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) entered the fray in January when it bought Nest Labs Inc. and its smart-thermostat for $3.2 billion. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is entering the smart thermostat field, too, and ComcastCorp. (NYSE: CCZ) has started a pilot to sell electricity with its cable.
Smaller companies are there, too, especially in Silicon Valley.
Peter Hebert, co-founder and managing partner of venture capital firm Lux Capital, sees “a proliferation of smaller startups all targeting this market,” the Bloomberg report says.
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