Energy Update: Arcadia Scoops Up Houston-Based Startup
Last month’s huge winter weather disaster emphasized the delicate availability and volatile cost of electricity in the Houston area and in all of Texas. Only a month after the crisis a Washington, D.C.-based company acquired Houston-based Real Simple Energy. The idea is to help put power back in the hands of electricity consumers in Texas.
Arcadia Acquires Real Simple Energy
The acquiring company is Arcadia, a tech company that connects U.S. homeowners and renters to renewable energy. A March 17 announcement stated that it had purchased Real Simple Energy. Neither company revealed the terms of the deal for the three-year-old startup.
Real Simple Energy says that its automated platform matches power usage with the lowest rates in the Texas marketplace to decrease its customers’ electric bills. Real Simple Energy manages all facets of a customer’s monthly power bills.
Trent Crow is co-founder and CEO of Real Simply Energy. He explained that all eight of the company’s employees have moved over to Arcadia. The company will hire more workers in the near future. Real Simple Energy has maintained a combination of office and remote workers.
Arcadia will look for Houston office space later in 2021, Crow said.
“Expansion plans include doing more of what we’re doing now and offering more features for customers,” says Crow. Crow now is Arcadia’s general manager of services in Texas.
Aside from Crow, co-founders of Real Simple Energy are Paul Paras and Matt Herpich.
Texas Energy Customers Save on Costs
Real Simple Energy stated that its customers save an average of 36% or roughly $548 a year on electricity. That number is based on the power bill for a 2,300-square-foot home. But Texans saw spikes in power prices during February’s winter weather disaster. The startup says its fixed-rate and fixed-bill plans do not experience these types of spikes.
“Recent events in the Texas market prove that customers shouldn’t be exposed to wholesale or variable rates, and want an advocate to protect them,” Kiran Bhatraju, founder and CEO of Arcadia, says in a release. “Both Arcadia and Real Simple Energy recognize the challenges Texas homeowners and renters have historically faced in the buying process, and we remain committed to removing these confusing barriers. We’ll always be on the customer’s side, focusing on the best rate and protecting our customers from bad actors.”
Start-Up Began in CEO’s Home
Crow says the struggle to decrease energy costs at his own home prompted him to start the company. He spent several years as a wholesale power trader at JPMorgan Chase.
“The deregulated energy industry, especially in Texas, has underserved customers. As a result, most customers overpay for electricity and receive poor customer service. Using technology, we are helping customers realize the promise of deregulation. We always get the best fixed rates available,” Crow says in a release.
This transaction is the first acquisition for Arcadia. The company began in 2014. Arcadia is in partnership with 125 utilities in 50 states. It oversees 4.5 terawatt hours (4.5 trillion kilowatt hours) of residential demand for energy.
Arcadia is the largest manager of residential solar in the U.S.
Also, Arcadia has raised $70.5 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.