Have you ever flipped a light switch and wondered where that power came from? If you’re like most people, probably not; you just flip the switch and expect the light to come on. The utility produces electricity and you and your neighbors use it.
But it wasn’t always that way.
In the early days of the electric power industry, power plants were built in a densely populated area like a city, and consumers were able to choose their service provider. As technology advanced, shrewd entrepreneurs consolidated small utility companies to create economies of scale. Over the course of the twentieth century, government regulated and deregulated the industry with varying intensity. What most consumers have been left with is a single utility from which to buy electricity.
Solar is an affordable option for consumers to efficiently power their homes and businesses with clean, renewable energy that they generated from their own solar panels. Now consumers can be prosumers – hybrid energy consumers and producers.
In his 1980 book Future Shock, Futurologist Alvin Toffler coined the term “prosumer”– a “proactive consumer” that aims to improve or design the goods and services of a marketplace, rather than merely consume them.
Think of it like a Facebook feed or YouTube page. Most users don’t just read or watch content – they also create their own and actively add to the conversation on social media.
The rise of prosumers highlights one of the most exciting trends in renewable energy. Solar helps preserve the environment, drive economic development, and provide energy choices – spurring even greater innovation that ultimately benefits consumers.
Ready to become an electricity prosumer yourself?