Electric trading markets that allow consumers to procure blocks of energy directly from generation providers have existed for a long time, but have tended to be in areas with highly stable distribution systems with access limited to large consumers. Customer segmentation within electricity markets has therefore been limited, with utilities defining tariffs and establishing service reliability based on customer type: residential, commercial, or industrial. However, technology platform enhancements have enabled smaller consumers to participate in electric trading markets and enabled system operators with a less stable grid to provide this service.
The result is that consumers, and not just the utility companies, can define the characteristics and pricing for their electric service.
For Cisco, this change is allowing us to purchase electricity in one of our most important, but least reliable and highest-carbon locations — Bangalore, India — in a new way that reflects our requirements for availability and environmental impact.