- Comcast is expanding its energy offering, tapping a new partner for its Energy Rewards program to provide customers in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New Jersey with low-cost power, Greentech Media reports.
- Crius Energy will provide competitive rates and long-term plans, the company said. Customers will also get a $20 credit, free movie tickets and premium channels.
- The Energy Rewards program will be marketed through Comcast’s online properties, retail centers, direct mail, and email communications.
About a year and a half ago, Comcast teamed up with NRG Energy to sell power — a potential boon to both companies looking for new markets and revenue streams. The pilot project ended last December, and now the cable and internet provider will expand the offering by teaming up with Crius Energy.
Whereas the NRG pilot was offered in a limited area of Pennsylvania, the newest incarnation of Energy Rewards will be available to all Comcast customers in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New Jersey. And according to Crius web site, there are "plans to expand to other Comcast markets."
Customers who sign up for gas or electric service with Crius will receive a $20 prepaid Visa card, free movie tickets and can enroll for three free months of either HBO, Showtime or Cinemax.
“We're looking to expand the footprint of the energy management product pretty significantly in the next few years,” said Curtis Snyder, Comcast's executive director of new business development. “We're looking to partner with utilities to have this go beyond our Xfinity Home subscription."
Comcast's Xfinity Home subscription incorporates security and home energy management, including smart thermostats.
In May, Commonwealth Edison announced in May that it had expanded its summer load control program and was partnering with Xfinity and Nest Labs on a thermostat incentive. It's still a relatively small project, but the utility is looking to grow it. Partnering with Xfinity and Nest allows the power utility to shift the marketing to companies it believes can do that job better.
“We essentially turned over the marketing and the direct-to-customer proposition to companies we believe are probably better at making that pitch to the customers than we are," Val Jensen, senior vice president of customer operations at ComEd, told Utility Dive.
Using thermostats can give utilities a better grip on energy efficiency or demand response programs by attracting more customers, though it won't be as efficient as utility-controlled switches. Furthermore, pilot programs from solar suppliers such as Vivint's internet offering with its solar business may boost competition even more, Greentech Media reports.