ORIGINAL REPORTING: New arrival Spruce ups game for 'trusted energy advisor' role
New arrival Spruce ups game for 'trusted energy advisor' role; A new company offering both DER and efficiency financing can be a partner or a competitor to incumbent utilities
Herman K. Trabish, January 19, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Spruce Finance is growing and expanding its private sector work as a complement or competitor to utility business models. It offers power company customers a full suite of distributed energy resources (DER). It is left to utilities whether those technologies sustain customers’ relationship with their electricity providers as a trusted energy advisor or give them the independence to move away from their power companies. Consumers now get up to three utility bills — one for heating, another for electricity, and a third for water, explained CEO Nat Kreamer.
Helping customers afford the hardware that allows them to reduce their total bill — such as new insulation, new HVAC units, a smart thermostat, LED lights, or a rooftop solar system — is where Spruce comes in. For the full spectrum of consumer technologies offered by its vendor partners, Spruce offers a diverse set of financing options, including loans, leases, and power purchase agreements. Consumers don’t necessarily know what they are paying for each of the three portions of their utility bill, Kreamer said, but they want to save money on the whole thing. Total bill savings is what Spruce targets. Many utilities can take advantage of Spruce’s offerings but others may choose to compete... click here for more