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Powered for Good Model and Framework

Offering Equitable Solar+backup power Products in Texas

The process of developing a solar+storage product involved creating specific potential frameworks, and then weighing the pros and cons of each as it relates to:

1) involving different parties in the financing and the delivery of the products,

2) creating and maintaining different types of contractual relationships between parties, and

3) analyzing the different allocations of risk between parties under each scenario.

One of the first frameworks we considered was a Broker/REP (Retail Electricity Provider) model, of which the advantages and disadvantages of each approach (Broker vs. REP) are contrasted in the figure below.

If an entity becomes a REP, it has the most control over the product design and will be able to directly supply customers with solar power instead of brokering sales through another party.

However, there is significant cost and complexity that goes along starting a new REP. Therefore, we determined that in many scenarios, it makes the most sense to start as a broker and then transition to a REP over time.

A framework for a company to offer affordable, renewable, and resilient retail electricity products design for low-to-moderate income (LMI) customers in Texas's deregulated power market:

PHASE 1: AGENT

  • Identify or negotiate the best 100% renewable electricity plan that will guarantee savings for a LMI customer and switch them over to that option.

  • Monitor and track customer savings.

PHASE 2: BROKER

  • Partner with an existing retail electricity provider (REP) that already offers low cost renewable electricity plans.

  • Receive payments from the REP when you broker their plans to customers.

  • Become profitable after reaching some number of signups.

PHASE 3: REP COORDINATION

  • Coordinate provision of REP functions and services with partners.

  • Coordinate purchase of renewable power on the wholesale market to curate customized offerings to customers.

  • Mitigate market risk (capital and controls supply; customer credit).

PHASE 4: REP/BROKER+

  • With time, the REP/broker can make available additional offerings related to:

    • Community Energy Storage/ Backup Power (< 1 MWh)

    • Demand Response & Load Control

    • Energy Efficiency (Contracting)

    • Rooftop Solar (Brokering)

  • As technology and costs improve, the REP/broker can continue to evaluate which options provide the greatest benefit to the local community and grid


Pilot Initiative: Energy Well Texas

Informed by Powered for Good research, a new Texas company called Energy Well Texas was formed with a mission to:

  • Speed the transition of millions of customers to green energy,

  • Build community wealth and resilience, and

  • Contribute to rectifying historic issues of environmental justice and equity

RELATED RESEARCH & PROJECTS

HARC's Clean Energy Hub, funded by the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), houses a variety of interactive tools, podcasts, webinars, guides, and case studies to help accelerate the adoption of clean energy projects in Texas.

This curated collection of online, interactive tools can help you implement best energy practices and explore opportunities to add solar and other clean energy projects to your property.

HARC's interactive data application explores 2021 Winter Storm Uri’s impact on Texas’ energy and water systems and highlights strategies to improve climate resilience at the household, community, and statewide levels. Information included in the application describes how the Texas power grid operates; Uri’s impacts on electricity generation, natural gas and water supplies, and air quality; and climate resilience lessons for the future.

HARC's story map, “Summarizing Hurricane Harvey’s Environmental Impacts” explores the flooding and related environmental impacts of 2017 Hurricane Harvey, such as storm-related spills, pollutants, Superfund site impacts, water quality, air quality, and power generation.

Hurricane Harvey wreaked considerable havoc on the electric power transmission and distribution system. During the span of the storm approximately 1.5 million power customers along the Gulf Coast lost power.

TEPRI has also assembled a collection of additional informative resources that you might find helpful, including: