As we move into colder weather and the heaters come on, more households are at risk of 'bill shock' from their electricity bills. To counter this, Melbourne-based power company Sumo Power has introduced an 'unlimited' energy contract, or so to speak, providing as much energy as your household needs for one fixed price.
Sumo isn't the first to think about providing and billing electricity in a new and interesting way, though it's the first to offer energy on this 'all you can eat' basis. The price per month is unique to each household, of course, and is calculated and agreed upon based on six months of your energy consumption history. This can be paid annually, biannually or quarterly, and is available no matter whether you're a new customer or you're already with Sumo.
"By asking a few simple questions upfront, we’ve been able to offer customers the freedom to use all the power they need for 12 months for one fixed price and so eradicate bills," said Sumo Power's founder, Dominic Capomolla. "Bill shock is the single biggest customer gripe in the electricity market. In the vast majority of occasions the bills are correct, but people are just so busy they don’t realise they’re using more power."
The company is only a year old, born from a "shared distaste of current energy providers" and the idea to create an energy company that was more focussed on the needs of consumers. Sumo's team is assembled from a group of experts in the energy industry, who Capomolla says "had big corporate gigs but weren’t satisfied and wanted to do something different."
He does acknowledge the risks inherent in this kind of business model, but he believes that people's consumption habits won't change dramatically even with 'all you can eat' power at their fingertips.
With climate change and greenhouse gas emissions a concern now more than ever, there is a possibility that this kind of plan could lead to unnecessary and mindless consumption of energy, which is worrying when so much of Australia's electricity is still supplied through unsustainable means. Sumo plans to introduce a handful of green initiatives in the coming months, however, including halogen light replacements and rooftop solar installations.
You can find out more about Sumo's All You Can Eat service here.