Social Commerce, PECO Electric & Alphabuyer Launch!
By John Raisch
December 12, 2010
This past summer was hot — very hot. From June through September my family and I must have had the window air conditioner units on almost every night. And boy that cool air was delightful.
But did I look at my electricity bill during that time? Was I keeping a close eye on the rates knowing my electricity usage was going up? Unfortunately not.
Since then I’ve looked at my PECO electricity bill hundreds of times. I’ve studied it. Talked to people about it. Analyzed it. And noticed things I’ve not noticed before. Most importantly I’ve kept an eye on it as the press, PECO and the PA PUC talked of energy deregulation, the rate cap expiration and alternative suppliers.
So why the change all of the sudden in caring about my electricity bill, you might ask.
Well, in July I left my job at GSI Commerce to start a new one. I left to embark on a new idea. An idea only enabled by the personal and collective power of the internet and the internet’s generations of users.
I work in e-commerce. You know, online shopping. I’ve worked in this field for a long time. As someone born and bred in Philadelphia my whole life, I am fortunate to have had a successful career in a field most often left for west coasters. Early in my career I worked building CDROM software and eventually transitioning CDROM technology to this fancy new thing called the “information superhighway” back in 1995. I then worked for online music pioneer CDNOW for many years, and most recently e-commerce powerhouse GSI Commerce.
Then social media happened. I’m an observational learner at heart, so, I’ve sat back over the past year or so and watched all-things-social play out. Well, I held out — waiting for the right team and the right opportunity to make a mark on social commerce.
In this uber-social era, Grandmothers now use Twitter. Facebook gets hacked now more than IE/Windows. And the daily deal onslaught of cupcakes, skydiving and laser hair removal to my Inbox continues.
But back in July, I decided my time on the social media sideline was over and it was time to take the field. I had found the right team and the opportunity to make a difference, again.
Here at Alphabuyer, we’re creating a social commerce platform that helps customers get the best possible rates, options and terms for the services they pay for every month. We call it group buying, for your bills.
You may be familiar with group buying sites that offer daily deals on things like restaurant and spa gift certificates. If enough people sign up, the power of the group becomes strong enough to command a discount. What if someone took that useful concept and applied it somewhere where it could really make a difference, like your monthly bills? That’s where Alphabuyer comes in. We are the only group buying platform that helps you get the best rates, options, and terms on services you pay for every month.
Now back, to electricity. Here’s what I hear from PECO and the PUC vs what I see on my bill — and part of my reason for wanting to bring social commerce to monthly bills.
Peco says our electricity bill is going up by, like, um, not even 5% or something. (use your best Valley Girl accent when reading this sentence.)
To put this into some perspective, here’s what I see on my bills.
- Jan. 2010 thru Sept. I paid 6.10 cents per KwH for my electricity (less that 500 Kwh usage tier)
- In October, it went up to 6.98 cents per KwH
- In November it went up to 9.39 cents per KwH
- Haven’t seen my December bill yet
We also know that our January 2011 rate from Peco will be 9.92 cents per KwH. While that’s about a 5% increase as compared to November it’s more, significantly more, compared to previous months:
- 14% increase September to October
- 54% increase September to November
- and a whopping 63% increase September 2010 to January 2011
There’s also a new PECO rate on the horizon for April 1, 2011.
By the way, if you use EZ Pass, your tolls are also going up Jan 2, 2011.
And oh, by the way, natural gas is deregulated too and there are savings to be seen! Yep, Alphabuyer is working on all of these! (in addition to electricity and gas)
Over the past 6 months, the team here at Alphabuyer has been working really hard to make group buying for your bills a reality. The long days, nights and weekends are finally paying off. We are very proud of what we’ve created and hope you are too.
This all leads me to announce the launch of the Alphabuyer group buying marketplace for your bills, today, on Monday December 13, 2010.
Be one of the first customers to revolutionize the way people join forces to save money on their bills. Visit alphabuyer.com to learn more.
Are you an Alphabuyer?