In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we’re speaking with Naman Trivedi from WattBuy.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Naman Trivedi and I’m the CEO of WattBuy. I founded the company to help millions of Americans choose cheaper, greener electricity plans and advance the global transition to a clean energy economy. I have been working in the energy space for about 8 years now. Through several experiences, I’ve come to believe that nudging citizens to make better decisions locally is a prerequisite to solving global problems like climate change. I began my career in energy at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, pushing a policy initiative for Community Choice Aggregation, a system that aggregates the buying power of individuals in a neighborhood to purchase renewable energy supply contracts. I then spent two years at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (Obama Administration) working on federal renewable energy policy and grand prizes.
I hold a BS in International Economics from Georgetown University, and was named to Forbes “30 under 30” in 2020 in the Energy category.
What problem does your product/service solve?
WattBuy empowers homeowners & renters by delivering access to cheaper, cleaner electricity. We make it simple for leading Real Estate & PropTech Companies to offer a white-labeled solution to their residents that helps them set up and confirm their electricity account and choose their electricity plan.
Starting in the early 2000s, several state governments decided to deregulate their residential utility markets, opening up the generation of electricity competition. In theory, this would bring down the average price of electricity and introduce consumer choice. In reality, a plethora of electricity providers prey on low-income residents with door to door knocking and mailers, often scamming residents into choosing plans with teaser rates that ultimately lock them into long term, high-cost plans. Today, there are 14 US states and counting where residents have the power to choose their electricity provider, accounting for $75 billion spent annually on electricity.
Residents across the US are overpaying for electricity in excess of $20 billion across the US, or $330 per resident. In a market of over 70 million homes & apartments, less than 30% of homeowners or renters have taken advantage of their power to choose. We built WattBuy as a transparency-first, free marketplace for residents to receive unbiased, intelligent choices for their home’s electricity. We do this by leveraging machine learning to predict a home’s electricity usage and recommending the best supplier and plan for their home.
We’re partnered with some of the biggest moving services companies, single-family rental companies, and i-buyers to provide a seamless utility setup experience.
What are you most excited about right now?
We recently began piloting a service for i-buyers to reduce holding costs and automate utility setup. We’ll be announcing the partner soon, but we’re finding the i-buying industry deals with several pain points as it relates to utility set up and disconnection, and a desire to provide a full move-in experience for their buyers.
What’s next for you?
As we enter our fourth year of operation this August, we’re looking to become the connection engine between utilities and real estate. We are expanding our product lines to be able to provide a full service solution for multifamily, single family, real estate tech, and others in the real estate industry. This means taking care of your water, gas, electricity set up & disconnection, billing and cost estimates.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I’m passionate about supporting students and young entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship requires a heavy dose of optimism, and I’ve seen students find massive success once they received some guidance and support. Over the last few years, I’ve mentored several students and young entrepreneurs, and I started a newsletter that discusses the challenges of the really early stages of a startup, called Zero to 0.5.
Thanks to Naman for sharing his story. If you’d like to connect, find him on LinkedIn here.
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop me a line (drew @ geekestatelabs dot com).