As cable struggles to gain video subs while the rate of broadband and voice customer additions continue to show signs of slowing down, business services and home security and automation are now viewed as key growth engines for the industry.
Here’s another new revenue stream that’s apparently on the horizon: reselling electricity.
According to a report from Greentech Media, Comcast is getting ready to deal itself into the electricity game in its home state.
Robert Powelson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, told reporters Wednesday that Comcast is hooking up with a retail electric supplier in the state, and plans to offer an electricity product by the fourth quarter of this year.
A spokesman for NRG Energy, which owns Reliant Energy, told Philly.com that the company was "working with Comcast on a new initiative."
“Now it [Comcast] will be a quadruple play,” Powelson said, according to Greentech Media's account, noting up front that NineStar Connect, a utility near Indianapolis was merging with a local telco that will enable it to offer a bundle of voice, broadband, home security and electricity services.
When the new product comes on the menu, perhaps it's more accurate to say Comcast will be in position to be a sextuple service provider: electricity, TV, voice, broadband, home security/automation, and mobile (via what’s still left of its partnership with Verizon Wireless).
If Comcast can find the right partners, selling electricity could fit well with Xfinity Home, a service that already features a cloud-based home energy management component called EcoSaver that was developed through MSO’s partnership with iControl and EcoFactor.
But it seems that Powelson might have jumped the gun a bit regarding Comcast’s plan, but there’s clearly something in the works.
When asked about its plans to sell electricity in Pennsylvania, Comcast would only say that it has not announced anything at this time. But an MSO representative told Greentech Media that “this is something we're exploring.”