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John Funnell

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Is a Local Supply Model the Future for Energy Distribution?

Will renewable energy provide a sustainable business model?

Recent analysis of Texas utility Austin Energy’s annual report indicates that despite relatively modest gas prices, renewable energy is still a cheaper option for most. What’s more, Austin saved $50 million for its customers over the past two years using alternative energy sources.

Now, in an exclusive interview with MeetTheBoss.tv, Karl Popham, Austin’s CIO, speaks directly about the energy company’s plans to provide a fairer energy independent system, giving their customers a unique opportunity to not be as affected by market prices.

Austin Energy’s customers have enjoyed over 17 years of a fixed rate price, unaffected by global market trends owing to the companies obligation to there “community”, putting profits back into the pockets of the consumer (but in turn reducing the obvious tax bill). Such a unique business model cannot be sustainable in the long-term, so Austin Energy is looking at other options to further reduce inefficiency’s and thus secure pricing.

“By 2020, 35 percent of our power will come from renewable energy. We’ve had the largest sales in renewable energy of any utility in the US for eight years in a row now, and that is mostly from wind farms in Texas,” Karl explains.

Reducing reliance on foreign energy is clearly the way forward for all suppliers, but the responsibility does not just lie with generation? Austin Energy has given a strong focus to the consumer as it is them making the real savings after all. The obvious answer is with smart grids, allowing customers to apply real-time metrics to energy consumption and evaluate usage independently, but such trust presents a new challenges.

Karl Popham continues, “Some might be very attracted to smart grid software, what Google has been able to offer as a power dashboard and as a power meter, but my grandmother, for example, might not be interested in that at all, but still interested in the benefits of lower cost, so we are now looking at this so everyone can benefit.”

Such efforts are clearly commendable, but in a gas guzzling state, will renewable energy provide a sustainable business model?

To see the interview in full go to MeetTheBoss.TV

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John Funnell has worked in online media for over ten years, after achieving his First Class BSC Hons Degree (BBC Sponsored), John won Bos 18-21 Princess Trust Entrepeneur of the year at 21, setting up Clean Living Records Ltd (including www.BeatReview.com) with great success having many acts that charted in Europe and Canada. After selling the business John looked for a new challenge and joined GDS International, having a successful career in sales and Delegate acquisition, he worked up to Event Director EMEA, forging contacts with some of the biggest technology names in the world, this lead to John having a lead role in the creation of MeettheBoss.com and MeettheBoss.tv – the worlds largest business IPTV channel. John then took over as Marketing and Communications Director and ran a multifaceted global Marketing team for GDS International in New York, Sydney, Kuala Lumper and the UK.. John joined Global in 2011 with the challenge of supporting its growth by developing a solid Marketing foundation through various Digital, PR and brand initiatives.