Sunil Paul of Side Car wrote on LinkedIn about how the emergence of the “peer economy” has allowed the emergence of new economic transactions. Side Car uses a smartphone app much like Uber and Lyft to connect riders with drivers to connect for quickly arranged trips.
Paul writes: “The peer economy is the growing business segment of transactions between individuals – one person to another – without a middleman to manage and package it. Think eBay for everything. ” He goes on to say, “(t)o win in the emerging peer economy, it’s important for companies and organizations to listen to what is possible with the technology and connect that with the needs of consumers and businesses. ”
The electricity industry appears to be on the verge of entering the transition to the peer economy with self-sustaining households and neighborhood microgrids. The single largest barrier is institutional, not technological, from the incumbent utility industry. We need to consider innovative strategies and policies to have them embrace this transition rather than resist it.
At M.Cubed we’re working on those solutions–the objective is not to try to bull over the utilities because that is a sure loser in the political world. There are ways for change the perspective so that the the utilities can see their advantage. We did that for the mobilehome park industry in California when we got PG&E to back conversion of aging master-metered electricity and gas systems to utility ownership. Look for more from us on this topic in the near future.