With their Real Simple Energy, two yo-pro entrepreneurs have reimagined how you handle your electricity bill — and how much you pay. (Hint: It’s less.)
A couple of savvy, just-turned-40 entrepreneurs with expertise in the retail energy biz are shaking up the complex and often frustrating world of residential electricity for consumers, with a straightforward new idea that makes you wonder why nobody thought of it sooner.
For a $9 monthly fee, Trent Crow and Paul Paras’ Real Simple Energy uses a proprietary algorithm to sort through all the various power plans from providers big and small, traditional and green — literally hundreds every day — to find the cheapest service, case by case, for their individual customers. They also handle all the bother in untangling you from your current provider and setting you up with the new one. And, in a concierge-style twist, they stay on top any contract terms, so after your six-month or yearlong term ends, but before the post-contract rates get away from you, they'll find you your next best deal. The average customer saves at least $500 annually, they claim, and a bunch of headaches. “We advocate for and guide the customer,” says Paras, who, like Crow, is a lifelong Houstonian with two young kids. “We take everything off the consumer’s plate. No more providers. No more bad customer service. No wait times.”
Paras adds that their system gets around the “dupe-the-customer standard operating procedure” of many of the bigger companies, which offer killer sign-up deals that dissolve into much pricier situations once the introductory terms ends. Real Simple also offers a true “fixed bill” — literally, your bill will never go up for any reason within the contract period — for which only some customers will qualify. With the fixed-bill arrangement, many smaller users can get locked into monthlies of around $100 or less, the proprietors say.
Signing up is pretty easy. Customers just visit the website, navigate the simple prompts, and provide some basic information on their energy usage. Real Simple provides three options — one which will be green-friendly, and all of which are likely to be cheaper than what clients are currently paying — for folks to select from. Even non-customers can use their search tools to explore plans on their own.
Crow and Paras met through a mutual friend a few years back and were finishing each other’s sentences by the end of their first lunch. Having begun Real Simple by enlisting mostly friends and relatives as clients two years ago, they now have thousands of customers — with the lot doubling every quarter so far. They say Covid has set their growth plans back in some ways, of course. But they believe they’ve benefitted in some ways, too, as lots of Houstonians look for ways to shave down their monthly bills, and spend more time at home consuming energy.
Crow and Paras have offered CityBook readers $50 off their first bill, if they switch to Real Simple Energy and use promo code CITYBOOK.
AT TOP: Trent Crow and Paul Paras