Editor’s Note 8/14/19: Over the past two days, Griddy has experienced historic price spikes resulting in extraordinarily expensive days for its customers. Some customers have reported having single days where they spent $100 or more on electricity. This is a serious risk that comes with having real-time pricing that fluctuates during demand, and when coupled with a heatwave that saw the Texas electrical grid experience more demand than at any time before, it was the perfect recipe for disaster.
While Griddy shows that the long-term data still supports their average price to be cheaper than the Texas average over an extended period of time (e.g. an entire quarter or entire year), consumers should be very cautious as price spikes such as the ones over the past couple days could affect monthly budgeting and lead to short-term spending issues.
In response to the mid-August price spike, Griddy issued a membership refund to customers and put out the following statement:
“Yesterday was a completely unprecedented day. In the entire history of the US wholesale electricity market, the price had only hit the $9/kWh cap for a grand total of 10 minutes. Yesterday, it hit the cap and stayed there for 90 minutes straight. And there were several other hours of >$1/kWh pricing. What caused such crazy price activity? Demand.
Over the last two days, the Texas electrical grid has experienced more demand than at anytime before. Every available generator was producing as much electricity as it could, and it still wasn’t enough to keep up. The statewide heat and humidity caused air conditioners to run more or less non-stop during the afternoon hours. That combined with lower than expected wind generation and a couple of power plants experiencing operational issues created a perfect storm, sending prices to levels never seen before.
To put in perspective how extraordinary yesterday was, here is a daily price chart going back to 2011 – the last time the Texas grid experienced anywhere close to this type of supply/demand imbalance. This was the type of event that happens once or twice in a decade.”
In summary, if you want peace of mind knowing your electric rate is locked in and won’t change, Griddy probably isn’t the best service for you. On the other hand, if you’re someone who takes a long-term view trusting that the historical data will continue to hold true and result in low average pricing over an extended period of time, Griddy may still hold some appeal.
As a result of these historic price surges over the past few days, we are currently reassessing our Griddy review and monitoring the situation to see if things return to normal in the coming days.
If you’re like most Houstonians, your electricity bills have been through the roof this summer. With the temperatures sometimes exceeding 100 degrees, you can’t help but crank the air conditioner in hopes for some relief. That relief comes at a significant cost, but there’s an innovative wholesale electric provider that could help you save big thanks to their revolutionary approach.
Griddy uses a membership model to give its customers access to real-time wholesale prices for electricity. Think of it as Costco for electricity. You pay a $9.99 monthly membership fee to get access to energy at prices up to 30% cheaper than any other energy provider in the state. There are no markups, no contracts, and no hidden fees.
The result? Homeowners can save thanks to wholesale prices that are 22% cheaper than the Texas average.
I’ve personally been using Griddy over the past year, and my electricity bills have gone way down as a result. Read on for my full Griddy Energy review that offers more details on how it works, how much you can expect to save, some of its features, and more.
What is Griddy?
Griddy likes to market itself as a whole new way to buy power, and it’s true, there’s nothing else out like it right now that I’ve seen. Technically Griddy is your electric provider. They connect you directly to the grid and give you access to the real-time wholesale price of electricity without any markups. The only thing they charge you for beyond the price of electricity, TDU delivery, and taxes if their monthly membership subscription for $9.99.
I’ll talk more about how it works and how you’re billed later in this Griddy Energy review.
How Griddy Works
As mentioned before, Griddy members have access to real-time wholesale electricity prices.
Here’s the thing — those prices change every 5 minutes based on supply and demand. So, at peak times when everyone has their AC cranked all the way up, the price for wholesale power might climb a bit. On the other hand, when demand is lower, prices plummet.
One of the things I like about Griddy is they send you a push notification on your phone to alert you if prices do spike. This gives you the ability to adjust your electricity usage on the fly so you can minimize the expense of price spikes. For example, you could wait a few minutes before doing the laundry if you’re in the middle of a price spike. Additionally, smart home users may be able to set up their systems to automatically dial back power consumption any time a price spike happens.
Griddy customers pay their bills in a way that’s pretty similar to EZ Tag. You preload $49 onto your Griddy account, and any time that amount drops under $25, Griddy automatically refills your account with another $49. You can actually customize the recharge amount to better fit your budget, but I haven’t done so with my account.
Personally, I’ve been using Griddy for roughly a year, and price spikes are fairly rare overall (they happen a bit more during the summer months as expected) and when they do happen, they usually only last a few minutes.
Overall, the average price for wholesale electricity is around 3.1 cents per kWh or roughly 8.9c/kWh all in when you factor in taxes, delivery fees, and the cost of membership.
Is Griddy Cheaper Than Other Providers?
On average, the wholesale price of electricity has been 22% cheaper than the Texas average over the last 5 years. That includes all the times prices spike higher than a fixed-rate plan, but remember, those spikes usually only last a few minutes. Griddy also points out on their website that “for every hour that prices spike above $1/kWh, there are 37 hours when prices are negative.”
If you’re on a fixed-rate plan, you won’t see the savings during all of the times where the price of electricity drops below 2 cents/kWh, but with Griddy, you can rack up the savings during low-demand times.
Compared to my previous fixed-rate plan, I’ve personally already saved in the hundreds compared to the Texas average since starting with Griddy.
You can also see below how much Griddy customers saved during the peak summer months of 2018 compared to everyone else in Texas:
Of course, if you have a super low fixed rate already, it’s possible Griddy might not be a better deal for you, but for most people reading this, the odds are you can save when you sign up for Griddy. It’s important to do your research and crunch the numbers on your end to determine if you can save or not. PowertoChoose.org is a good site to check to get an idea of how much fixed-rate plans are running right now.
Remember, there’s no contract with Griddy, no early termination fees, or anything like that. So, if for some reason you don’t have a positive experience like I’ve had, you can cancel it without worry.
Hoepfully, this Griddy review has been useful, and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to help.