With ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber and travel services like Airbnb, the person-to-person market is gaining more and more traction in the American market. In Europe, the idea is gaining even more of a foothold ― starting with the energy sector.
Vandebron is an Amsterdam-based person-to-person electricity service. The service provides a platform for small energy producers to connect directly to consumers. The producers give their price and type of energy, then sell spots until they reach their production capacity. The platform also gives consumers a chance to see directly where their energy is coming from, meet their providers, and make an informed decision regarding their energy choices.
While some places in the U.S. offer some price comparison options ― Texas, for instance, offers a site that allows you to compare prices from different energy companies ― consumers have very little access to the kind of transparency that person-to-person electricity markets offer.
Giving consumers more control, opening up markets, and empowering consumers to make informed decisions are key elements to increasing competition. Making room for person-to-person markets in the energy sector could drive energy prices down ― and innovation up.