Here at Power2Switch (and beyond), so much of our work revolves around solving problems. Helping you make financially and socially responsible decisions on your energy is of course our primary goal, but a major part of that process involves you truly understanding how exactly we are helping you. It’s one thing to be told you are saving money (which we do every month, with our handy savings email), but it’s another thing entirely to see it for yourself on your bill every month. And that’s where the “problem” lies — painfully so. Most electricity consumers, like yourself, have difficulty understanding their electric bills. And what that really means is that they have no idea what exactly they are paying for each month. As such, where they are looking to switch suppliers, they have no idea where they can see savings.
To that end, we have taken strides to explain the contents of the bill over and over to people, written multiple blog posts about it, drawn diagrams to illustrate the savings, etc., and still, people are not understanding it. And why would they?? The electric bill is like the Pong of video games. A relic of a past time when lack of customer knowledge kept the utility in business. Here we are, with technological advances unlike any we have ever seen, and the electric bill remains essentially the same as it always was.
Apart from a flash of red, some line breaks, and a few data tables, the electric bill has changed very little in twenty some years. Certainly too little to keep pace with the way people consume information nowadays, relying more on imagery and graphics as opposed to text. We hardly think it presents complex information in a digestible, concise sort of way. And, to be candid, it’s pretty boring-looking. In fact, it really makes me want to take a nap.
At Power2Switch, we’re all about innovation, and as such, we decided to take matters into our own hands. So what do you think we did??
Well, we redesigned the electric bill, of course!!
We teamed up with an extremely talented Chicago designer, Kaila Dunn, to create an electric bill that not only looks great, but that also conveys some not-so-interesting information in a clear, logical, and compelling manner. Quite a concept, right?
Here, take a look:
In this bill, we depicted the different elements of your electric service — supply, delivery, and tax/other – in distinct, contrasting colors, helping your eye to process your bill differently and ideally promote a better understanding of its contents. The kilowatt (kWh) usage is uniquely colored in red and is carried throughout the differing sections of the bill, to ensure that you know exactly what your changing electricity consumption affects on your bill each month. (This is the portion of your bill over which you actually have some control!) The circular chart in the center features colors that correspond to the different services — to graphically depict just how much of your usage is attributed to each area — and the total amount due is boldly noted in the center. Additionally, the Price to Compare is set apart on the lower left, showing you exactly where you need to look to see if you can save by switching electricity suppliers. A hierarchy of the most important elements of your bill is quickly established through color, scale, and weight.
Looks pretty good, right? What do you all think? Please leave a comment with your thoughts, and feel free to make any suggestions for additional improvements, if any!
Related Post: How A Redesigned Electricity Bill Could Make You Smarter And Save Cash http://bit.ly/LEm9Pd
Alexa Hughes is blogger extraordinaire for Power2Switch, a comparison-shopping site for consumers seeking lower electric rates, based out of Chicago. You can find Alexa on Twitter.