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I tried Griddy – Here’s my review
Update: Griddy Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 15, 2021. In August of 2021, Griddy settled the lawsuit filed by the state of Texas to wipe clean the debts of customers. Griddy Energy is no longer open for business.
If you’re reading this review, odds are you’re curious about all this Griddy wholesale energy rate stuff…
…or maybe you’re a current Griddy customer who is fed up with the Griddy electricity model and alerts and are shopping around in hopes of finding a better energy provider.
If either of these describes you, read on.
If you’re curious about Griddy or want to know how to pick the best energy plan for your home, keep reading. I will show you how I switched to a predictable, fixed-rate plan in this post.
Here at ComparePower, we are consumer advocates at our core.
We live in Texas.
Employees here make it a point to personally try out the different providers in Texas so that we can share our experience with our fellow Texans and help you make an informed energy choice for your home or business.
With this mission in mind, I gave Griddy a try myself. Here is my personal experience.
Does Griddy really save you money?
Here’s what I learned.
I know what you’re asking yourself. Is Griddy right for me, and will it save me money?
The answer is it depends…more on that later. For now, I’d like to share my personal experience with Griddy in hopes that it can guide you in making the best decision for your household.
I started using Griddy midway through September 2019. With the summer months coming to an end and cooler days ahead, I did not anticipate a significant demand on the grid.
I reasoned that perhaps it might be possible to save some money by purchasing electricity in real time from the Griddy app.
So I downloaded the app, which they’ve done an excellent job with. And after adding $49 to my account, I was on my way to purchasing wholesale electricity directly from the grid.
In case you do not know, Griddy is a prepaid electric service. You must always keep a positive balance in your account, or your power will be turned off.
If you’re not used to pre-paying for your power and would rather pay at the end of the month for the kWh you use, Griddy is not for you.
If this is you, my suggestion is to stop reading, enter your zip code, and shop for a traditional, predictable, fixed-rate plan.
Now back to my experience with Griddy. Everything was going smoothly for about a day.
Much to my surprise, the very next day, I received an alarming notification from Griddy.
Wholesale electricity prices had climbed to over 50 cents/kWh, and I should not worry.
I should not worry? How could I not? Was this a joke?
My heart sank to the pit of my stomach at the thought of what my electricity bill would be that day, and admittedly I immediately felt silly for having made the switch to Griddy.
To add insult to injury, I couldn’t believe I was actually paying Griddy $9.99 a month for this.
In the middle of my workday, I started thinking about the appliances being powered in my home, from the washer and dryer to the refrigerator and, most importantly, my air conditioner, which was set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
My mind raced as I tried to calculate how much running these appliances would cost me at a rate of 50 cents/kWh.
Being that I was at work, I could not drop everything I was doing to run home and turn my appliances off, which Griddy recommends.
Most people I know do not have the flexibility to put down their work in the middle of the day and run home so they can power down their appliances whenever an alert shows up on their mobile phones.
To put this in perspective, before I switched to Griddy, I was paying, on average, just under 7 cents/kWh for 1000 kWh of monthly usage.
Griddy was now costing me over seven times more than my traditional fixed-rate plan that I had found on ComparePower.
Projected prices on Griddy’s app ranged from 10 cents/kWh at noon to $1 per kWh by 4 pm the same day. See the screenshot I took personally from my phone:
I then noticed an email from Griddy in my inbox. I dropped everything I was doing to read it.
“High Price Warning Today, 2-6 pm. A hotter than a normal day, coupled with potential generation outages, could lead to electricity prices as high as $4/kWh.”
What followed was a list of instructions on how I should have read the future and ramped down my energy usage between 1 and 6 pm to avoid high costs.
The only way to avoid high costs and overpaying for power was to leave work and run home to power down my electronics.
I don’t know about you (or the employment hours at the Griddy offices), but where I work, employees are required to be present from 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday.
Telling my boss that I needed to run home to power down my appliances was not an option.
In case you don’t believe me, I took a screenshot of the email I received on September 25th, 2019, from Griddy and attached it below:
Now back to the original question. Can Griddy save you money?
If you can run home in the middle of the day and power down all your appliances and electronics, Griddy may be a reasonable option.
However, even if you have the flexibility to do so, is this how you want to spend your day? Constantly worried and paranoid about how much your electric bill will be hour after agonizing hour?
I constantly checked the electricity rate instead of focusing on what was important and what I had to accomplish during my day.
If you do not mind constantly checking the electricity rate on your phone, and even if you have the flexibility to run home and power off your appliances, you may not get the best deal with Griddy. Here is why.
Griddy states that the average rate their customers pay is 8.8 cents/kWh, and the Texas average rate is 14.01 ¢/kWh, saving you money.
This average is based on a statistic from the EIA.gov website.
I work here at ComparePower, and we switch thousands of Texans every month.
In fact, there are fixed-rate plans for Texas residents on ComparePower with rates as low as $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for 1000 kWh.
How does Griddy Energy work?
Like everyone else, the idea of being able to purchase electricity at wholesale prices seemed appealing to me.
For those that don’t know how Griddy works. For a monthly fee of $9.99, Griddy connects its members, via a mobile app, directly to the real-time wholesale energy market so that, in theory, they pay the same variable prices that retail energy providers and commercial consumers pay in real-time.
That, however, is not entirely accurate. Most traditional electricity providers offering fixed rate prices buy forward contracts at different times of the year, not in real-time as Griddy does.
Since these traditional providers can buy electricity at a fixed price for delivery throughout the year, they can offer fixed-price contracts to their residential customers without the worry of hourly fluctuations in rates and the burning desire to run home in response to a push-notification alert to turn off that light you left on.
The primary benefit of choosing a fixed-term electricity plan is consistency and predictability.
The wholesale price of electricity changes approximately every 5 minutes, making it nearly impossible to predict how much you will pay from one moment to the next.
Griddy provides a projection for electricity prices for the entire day so you can plan ahead. Still, in my personal experience, the projections were less than accurate, at times as much as a 70 cents/kWh difference between the projected and actual price.
Conclusion: Key facts and takeaways
I really wanted to like Griddy.
It just wasn’t for me. The stress I experienced in response to the random influx of emails and push alerts warning of price spikes on the horizon drove me crazy.
Buying electricity at wholesale prices is unique, but it is highly unpredictable.
You will need to evaluate your electricity and lifestyle needs to make the best decision for your home.
I switched from Griddy to a predictable fixed-rate plan that I found on ComparePower.
I am now paying 6.7 cents / kWh for 1000 kWh of energy each month, which is about what I use monthly.
I no longer look at my phone or fret over electricity price alerts. That peace of mind alone, to me, is priceless.
Oh, and I am no longer paying Griddy $9.99 a month for the luxury of using their app and exposing me to this unnecessary stress.
I switched providers for free here at ComparePower in under 5 minutes and enjoy low electricity prices with zero hassle. I can honestly say my life is so much simpler because of it.
Ahhh… the sweet relief of consistency and predictability.
If you are currently with Griddy, I recommend making the switch. It will be the best 5 minutes you will spend today.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me
-Enri Zhulati, Consumer Advocate at ComparePower
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