Fast Company Recognizes GridPoint Among 2021 World Changing Ideas Award Honorees

 

GridPoint’s Smart Building Platform highlighted as honorable mention in energy category

 

Reston, VA, May 6, 2021 GridPoint’s Smart Building Platform received an honorable mention in the energy category of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards. GridPoint was recognized for supporting the grid transition while saving customers more than $496 million in energy expenses, reducing usage by more than 6.3 billion kWh and eliminating over 5.9 billion pounds of carbon emissions to date.

“For over a decade, GridPoint has been transforming the way businesses use energy in order to create a more sustainable future. This means delivering resilience and energy savings to buildings, while leveraging their collective impact to accelerate the transition to a clean and reliable grid. Fast Company’s recognition points to our technology’s unique ability to support both energy users and energy providers in order to achieve our vision,” said GridPoint CEO Mark Danzenbaker.

The Awards honor the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to pursuing innovation when it comes to solving health and climate crises, social injustice, or economic inequality. A panel of Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 4,000 entries across categories.

“There is no question our society and planet are facing deeply troubling times. So, it’s important to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, impact, design, scalability, and passion to solve these problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company.

View the full list of energy honorees here.

 

About GridPoint

GridPoint’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable future by creating an intelligent energy network of grid-interactive buildings. By transforming the way commercial businesses use energy, GridPoint unlocks the decarbonization, sustainability, and grid resiliency required for a cleaner, more efficient tomorrow. Our technology platform harnesses power and potential within a building to deliver energy, operational, and resiliency benefits. Networked together, GridPoint intelligent buildings provide reliable, precise, and instantaneous capacity for utilities and grid operators. GridPoint’s growing network of commercial buildings spans across Fortune 500 enterprises, utilities, government organizations, and small businesses.


Inc. Magazine Recognizes GridPoint Among the Fastest-Growing Private Companies in the D.C. Metro Region

Companies on the 2021 Inc. 5000 Regionals: D.C. Metro list employed more than 120,000 people

 

Reston, VA – March 16, 2021 – Inc. magazine announced today that GridPoint is No. 140 on its annual Inc. 5000 Regionals: D.C. Metro list, the most prestigious ranking of the fastest-growing Washington, D.C., area-based private companies. Born of the annual Inc. 5000 franchise, this regional list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the D.C. area economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses.

GridPoint’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable energy future by creating a network of grid-interactive buildings. Through transforming the way commercial businesses use energy, GridPoint unlocks the decarbonization, sustainability, and grid resiliency required for a cleaner, more efficient tomorrow. The technology harnesses power and potential within a building to deliver energy, operational, and resiliency benefits at the building level. Networked together, these buildings provide reliable, precise, and instantaneous capacity for utilities and grid operators.

“Today is a very proud day for the GridPoint team,” says GridPoint CEO, Mark Danzenbaker. “There are many factors advancing energy into the spotlight and businesses are more conscious than ever about their carbon footprint. This recognition validates our hard work to break down barriers of technology adoption and expedite growth in order to better help customers reduce their energy consumption, embrace sustainability, and become a part of the clean energy transition.”

The companies on this list show stunning rates of growth across all industries in the Washington, D.C., region. Between 2017 and 2019, these 250 private companies had an average growth rate of 211 percent and, in 2019 alone, they employed more than 120,000 people and added nearly $15 billion to the D.C. area economy. Companies based in major metro areas—Baltimore, Maryland, the Washington, D.C. area, and Richmond, Virginia—brought in the highest revenue overall.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000 Regionals: D.C. Metro, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, metro area, and other criteria, can be found at https://www.inc.com/inc5000/regionals/washington-dc starting March 16, 2021.

“This list proves the power of companies in the Washington, D.C. area no matter the industry,” says Inc. editor in chief Scott Omelianuk. “The impressive revenues and growth rates prove the insight and diligence of CEOs and that these businesses are here to stay.”

 

About GridPoint

GridPoint’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable energy future by creating a network of grid-interactive buildings. Through transforming the way commercial businesses use energy, GridPoint unlocks the decarbonization, sustainability, and grid resiliency required for a cleaner, more efficient tomorrow. The technology harnesses power and potential within a building to deliver energy, operational, and resiliency benefits at the building level. Networked together, these buildings provide reliable, precise, and instantaneous capacity for utilities and grid operators. Powered by the best data, GridPoint’s network spans across 15,000 locations including Fortune 500 enterprises, utilities, government organizations, industrial complexes and more.

Media Contact:
Katie O’Shea, Marketing Manager
media@gridpoint.com
(703) 667-7051

 

More about Inc. and the Inc. 5000 Regionals

Methodology

The 2021 Inc. 5000 Regionals are ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2017 and 2019. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2017. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2019. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2017 is $100,000; the minimum for 2019 is $1 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons.

 

About Inc. Media

The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit www.inc.com


Mythbusters: Demand Response

Are Demand Response Programs Really Worth it?

 

Demand Response (DR) programs, while not new, are now gaining in popularity due to their value as an impactful measure to support grid stability. Traditionally, DR has been highly manual and most prevalent in industrial and manufacturing sectors. However, now that Automated DR (ADR) technology is available, the commercial sector can easily participate and earn new revenue streams while supporting their local grid and utility programs. Read more on how DR works here.

 

GridPoint has deployed ADR technology across thousands of commercial customers nationwide through its smart buildings platform, and as an aggregator, GridPoint provides DR program management for many of them. GridPoint’s platform enables buildings to act as grid-interactive resources and can be integrated with other distributed energy resources, like solar or storage, to combine benefits of these distributed technologies, create greater value, and help decarbonize and stabilize the grid. Because demand response has evolved so quickly through ADR technology, we often find customers that could benefit the most from DR participation are unwilling to participate due to previous or outdated misconceptions. Here are a few myths we’ve come across and the truth to set the record straight:

 

 

Myth 1: My building will be uncomfortable during a DR event
False.

GridPoint works with customers to develop strategies that fit their specific needs. During DR events, which could last between 15 minutes and four hours, zone temperatures could be increased to achieve energy reduction during the event. However, the extent to which temperature is raised follows a pre-set limit decided by the customer. On average, a zone temperature is increased by 1.8 degrees for 1.8 hours. GridPoint ensures that zone temperatures remain at or below customer-specified limits in three ways:

  1. GridPoint pre-cools your location. For 90-120 minutes prior to an event, zone temperatures are reduced by 2-4 degrees depending upon customer specification and building condition requirements. Throughout the event, the store is permitted to ‘drift’ up to setpoint temperature. By pre-cooling, the store remains comfortable while conserving energy.
  2. GridPoint’s DR team works with each individual customer to develop curtailment strategies which provide both comfort to store occupants and reduces energy consumption. The set points can be as small as a 1-degree Fahrenheit difference in zone temp, or as large as 4-degree Fahrenheit difference depending on customer specification.
  3. Curtailment strategy is highly customizable based on site-specific requirements. Specific zones can be entirely left out of demand response events if necessary.

 

 

Myth 2: I’m locked in for the whole demand response season and can’t make changes to my site.
False.

Customers gain more control when they participate in an event when they work with aggregators.  GridPoint’s demand response programs permit customers to change level of participation, strategy for participation, and choice to participate at any time during demand response season if necessary. The only exception to this is during a demand response event. During an event, curtailment strategies in effect are generally unable to be changed; however, any other time, customers can modify participation levels – although in GridPoint’s experience, the desire to modify participation rates and curtailment strategies is rare.

 

While some DR programs require nomination across an entire season, many programs enable customers to enroll on a monthly basis, allowing adequate time for a site to experience DR and opt out the next month if participation results are not a good fit. These programs are a great way to “test” how demand response participation may or may not impact your site.

 

 

Myth 3: Potential DR revenue is not worth the time & effort required to participate.
False.

Bundling ADR technology rebates and demand response participation payments provide a strong incentive (think thousands of dollars per site) with very little effort for small to medium business customers.

 

One GridPoint customer earned an additional $50,000 through demand response rebates and incentives alone in 2019. GridPoint provides a turnkey, fully automated, demand response program for customers. Aside from signing enrollment paperwork, there is very little customers need to do to participate. GridPoint’s demand response team manages all aspects of DR enrollment and participation. Through the GridPoint smart building platform, DR can provide a passive revenue stream for customers willing to change zone temperatures by as little as one degree for one hour.

 

GridPoint is focused on saving you energy and money so you can focus on what matters: your business. Demand response is a way to unlock additional revenue for your business with minimal impact to your business operations. Please contact us to learn more about whether your sites qualify for demand response programs.


GridPoint Recognized by Frost & Sullivan as Industry Leader in Strategy Innovation

 

Progressive Mission Positions GridPoint as Key Player in Grid Modernization

 

Reston, VA – December 3, 2020 - GridPoint, a smart building technology innovator transforming the way businesses use energy, announced today it has been named the winner of Frost & Sullivan’s 2020 Best Practices Award for Global Energy Management Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership. This award recognizes a company that excels in strategy innovation and provides superior customer impact by driving demand, brand strength, and competitive differentiation.

GridPoint’s mission is to enable the world’s transition to an efficient and sustainable future through smart, grid-connected buildings. GridPoint’s hardware-enabled subscription offerings bridge the gap between commercial businesses, utilities, and technology partners to support grid modernization and bring outdated energy infrastructure to the 21st century. Powered by the best data, the platform identifies best-fit energy strategies, reduces waste, and makes buildings smarter through controls, automation, and machine learning.

For this award, Frost & Sullivan analysts independently evaluated two key factors across the nominees: strategy innovation and customer impact. These evaluations are put into a decision support scorecard, which benchmarks the criteria and identifies positions on a 10-point scale. GridPoint received the highest rating of 8.5/10, a full 2 points higher than its closest competitor.

The report cites that GridPoint’s “focus and dedication in continuous product development and strategy innovation resulted in a revolutionary energy management offering that Frost & Sullivan expects to bring about a positive disruption and transform the building energy management landscape. The company continues to deliver greater value for customers through new features, products, partnerships, and integrations, displaying the highest level of commitment towards client satisfaction. Its strong R&D culture, combined with extensive intellectual property and strategy excellence, enabled GridPoint to properly set itself apart and create strong product and market differentiators, thereby gaining a distinctive edge in a highly dynamic and competitive environment.”

“We are honored to be recognized as an industry leader by Frost & Sullivan,” says Mark Danzenbaker, CEO at GridPoint.  “We believe our focus on creating greater customer value through technology integrations as well as leveraging channel partnerships to reach underserved and emerging markets has positioned GridPoint as a leading catalyst for the clean grid transition.”

 

View the full report here

 

About Frost & Sullivan
For six decades, Frost & Sullivan has been world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success. Contact us: Start the discussion.

 

About GridPoint
GridPoint is a smart building technology leader with a mission focused on enabling the world’s transition to an efficient and sustainable future through smart, grid-connected buildings. Our hardware-enabled subscription offerings bridge the gap between commercial businesses, utilities, and technology partners to support grid modernization and bring outdated energy infrastructure to the 21st century. Powered by the best data, our platform is designed to identify best-fit energy strategies, reduce waste, and make buildings smarter through controls, automation, and machine learning. GridPoint’s solutions are installed in over 15,000 locations including fortune 500 enterprises, small businesses, government organizations and industrial complexes.  Learn more at www.gridpoint.com.

 

Media Contact
Katie O’Shea, Marketing Manager
media@gridpoint.com
(703) 667-7051


Product Solution Specialist, Strategic Partnerships

GridPoint is a smart building technology leader with a mission focused on enabling the world’s transition to an efficient and sustainable future through smart, grid-connected buildings. Our hardware-enabled subscription offerings bridge the gap between commercial businesses, utilities, and technology partners to support grid modernization and bring outdated energy infrastructure to the 21st century. Powered by the best data, our platform is designed to identify best-fit energy strategies, reduce waste, and make buildings smarter through controls, automation, and machine learning.

 

Job Description

The Product Solution Specialist is responsible for providing technical sales support to channel partners that resell GridPoint’s product and services. You should be comfortable explaining how technical solutions can be applied to solve business problems and should be able to speak the languages of business and technical decision makers alike.  This role requires a creative thinker who can not only understand the application of a technology to a building but also how the solution fits within a partner’s broader go-to-market strategy.

 

Role Responsibilities

This role requires designing solutions for channel partners and their customers. It also requires the continuous education and documentation of product features to our channel team and strategic partners.

 

Solution designing
  • Be the expert on and explain the hardware, software and reporting components of GridPoint’s solutions and how they're typically applied to customer sites so that the features, benefits and requirements are understood and valued by our customers and partners.
  • Help partner technical sales teams qualify, design and sell innovative solutions that drive strategic objectives and help differentiate partner offerings
  • Ensure the accuracy of scopes of work, technical requirements and pricing in any proposal is understood, valued and communicated effectively to all required internal and external stakeholders
Product training
  • Work with GridPoint’s sales team and in collaboration with our partners through direct support of identified customer opportunities from the discovery through contracting phases Build trusted technical advisor relationships with Customers and leaders of various partner groups, linking the GridPoint solution to relevant business strategies
  • Present and demonstrate technical solutions in a business relevant way to all levels (e.g. CxO, VP, day-to-day user) and all required functional areas (e.g. Finance, Engineering & Facilities) within the customer and partner organizations.
  • Promote to customers and train partners on the technical value and benefits of GridPoint’s solutions
  • Regularly meet with the internal Customer Success team to identify post-sale technology utilization patterns provide technical training to ensure customer receives on-going value
  • Works with internal Account Management, Program Management, and Customer Success teams to identify post-sale up-sell opportunities to provide value-added services and products as new integrations and technologies are available for the GridPoint platform

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Ability to travel up to 25% of the time (not during coronavirus pandemic)
  • Demonstrate a competitive drive and desire to succeed in established goals
  • Attentive to details and able to follow processes
  • Proficient with corporate productivity and web presentation tools
  • Experience working with Salesforce.com or similar CRM
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • BA/BS degree or equivalent preferred

Supporting Resource Adequacy through Demand Response

Supporting Resource Adequacy Through Automated Demand Response

How Lessons Learned from the California Grid Crises can be Adapted Nationwide

 

Resource Adequacy (RA), the conditions in which grid operators have enough capacity to meet forecasted demand on the grid, is a hot topic among utilities and regulators following the August 2020 grid emergencies in California. Throughout the crises, Demand Response (DR), in particular Automated Demand Response (ADR), played a critical role in restoring balance and will continue to drive policy and infrastructure through the clean grid transition.

GridPoint provides a deeper dive into what happened during the crisis and the role DR played in a recent white paper here. So how can lessons learned from those events in California prepare us for similar crises nationwide?

What’s clear is the need for on-demand flexible capacity to ensure resource adequacy during these increasing emergencies. Demand Response was successful in California, and when scaled and automated, the technology can provide flexible capacity on-demand when it is needed most.

 

The Value of Automated Demand Response Technology at Scale

Demand response is not a new concept, but it has never been tested the way it was in California in August. According to analysts at Wood Mackenzie, California has 1.5 GW of program-enrolled demand response potential. This includes mostly manual demand response: direct load control, switches, and other basic forms of load shedding strategies. Although 1.5 GW of DR would have met and surpassed the need for 400 MW of load to avert blackouts on August 14 and 15th, not all this DR potential was available.   Low response rates have been attributed to official DR program rules which limit required response to advance notification windows and to specific price signals, as well as location or congestion constraints.

Despite low response rates, what we did see during the crisis was a 470 MW load shed attributed to demand response. Where did it come from? Two places: through voluntary automated demand response and flex alerts.

Flex alerts, which are a request for consumers to reduce electricity consumption, yielded 4 GW of capacity during the crisis week proving that many small sites (in this case mostly residences) when aggregated, can provide reliable capacity in near real-time.

The second, and more scalable, measurable, and dependable source of additional capacity, came from voluntary automated demand response, such as what GridPoint deployed by leveraging customer sites. Operating voluntarily (without compensation) outside of official DR program rules, GridPoint, was able to dispatch curtailment across thousands of sites with OADR infrastructure within minutes of learning of CAISOs capacity shortage. Throughout the crises, a subsection of GridPoint’s fleet of customer sites voluntarily participated in predetermined load shed strategies. These strategies permitted normal business operations to continue for GridPoint customers, many of which are considered essential services, while collectively adding MWs of capacity to the grid. Like the flex alerts, what this proves is that many small sites are collectively as impactful as one or several industrial sites providing DR.

 

Scaling ADR Infrastructure through a Value Stacked Service

ADR infrastructure must be widely installed now to prevent capacity shortages in the future. There are thousands of untapped, small to medium buildings with the potential to provide reliable capacity. However, with cost as a barrier, the key to getting ADR technology into facilities is to deliver the solution in a way that offsets the cost through the benefits of energy efficiency and demand management.

GridPoint provides automated demand response technology as part of its smart building platform through an Energy Management as-a-Service (EMaaS) model. The EMaaS model eliminates upfront costs and provides both energy efficiency and demand response capabilities.  The platform is expandable enabling future adoption and management of other DERs. The monthly cost of the solution is often less than the energy cost savings customers benefit from - removing that key cost barrier to customer adoption.

In addition, many utilities offer rebate incentives for OADR technology. Stacking values of these ADR rebates, reduced energy costs, and demand response revenue while delivering the platform though an EMaaS model is what accelerates ADR technology adoption.

Stakes are high for utilities in comparison to other markets as disruptions to the electric grid have severe, real-time consequences for end-users - especially during a pandemic. Through demand response readiness, ADR technology providers working in tandem with utilities can dramatically increase resource adequacy and on-demand flexibility. As we move towards a more modern grid - one with more intermittent generation, fewer traditional generation sources, and an increasingly stressful climate - it is crucial that an infrastructure for fast, measured, reliable capacity is in place.

For strategies on how to implement OADR technology, or for more information about GridPoint’s ADR and EMS platform, please contact us at smartbuildings@gridpoint.com.


Indoor Air Quality

Managing Indoor Air Quality During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has been a hot topic of discussion lately as commercial businesses are tasked to balance health with business continuity for the foreseeable future.  With cooler months rolling in and less opportunity to utilize outdoor space, taking precautions to keep indoor air fresh for employees and customers will be paramount to navigating through the winter. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning) has published the following guidelines to help business owners ensure their facilities are as safe as possible and minimize risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus:

 

ASHRAE Suggestions for Maintaining Indoor Air Quality

  • 2-hour air purge after space becomes unoccupied and before space becomes occupied
  • Disable DCV (Demand Control Ventilation)
  • Maintain indoor relative humidity between 40-60%
  • Open outside air dampers to maximum position while maintaining comfort
  • Upgrade filters to MERV-13 (or higher)
  • VAV systems: increase discharge air temperature to max to encourage VAV terminal unit dampers to open

Smart buildings can respond to unusual events or pandemics, like COVID-19, by leveraging technology to adapt facilities to these optimal conditions. Here are ways GridPoint’s technology can support air quality and ensure your buildings are following ASHRAE’s IAQ recommendations:

  • Air Circulation: GridPoint systems support multi-period advance scheduling that can run fans in ON mode with systems in OFF mode.
  • Humidity Management: It’s common practice to increase indoor humidity levels to reduce airborne viruses, but higher humidity can result in mold and other undesired outcomes.  GridPoint systems use humidity control algorithms that runs additional cooling to dehumidify the site and maintain comfortable yet safe indoor humidity.
  • Filter Recommendations: In accordance with ASHRAE standards, GridPoint recommends MERV-13+ air filters and suggest that filter replacement happens on a regular schedule.
  • UV-C Air Purification: GridPoint is currently working on a solution to add a 24-volt UV lamp in HVAC duct to purify the indoor air.

 

How Can You Manage Your IAQ on a Limited Budget?

If your business doesn’t have smart building technology, GridPoint offers service-based solutions, with no up-front costs, that can provide peace of mind during chaotic times like these. With health on the line, here are a few actions that can be taken immediately to minimize risk:

  • Create a schedule for changing your air filters (MERVE 13+ are great options)
  • Designate a team member to adjust the thermostat fans to ON as needed to ensure air circulation happens regularly
  • Invest in a device to measure relative humidity to ensure indoor levels are between 40-60%
  • Change minimum outdoor air damper settings on HVAC equipment to maximum position
  • Eliminate sources that can release contaminants in the space. According to the EPA this is the most cost-effective measure so double-checking for mold, asbestos, or emissions from equipment like gas stoves could be helpful.

Our team at GridPoint is here to help businesses adjust operations for the “new” normal of today and whatever that may be in the future.  Contact us today for more information:


Preventing Blackouts in California:
What your Business can do to Support the Grid

 

California has been in a state of emergency since Friday, August 14th, but this time not because of COVID-19. Rolling electricity blackouts are occurring across California and the grid crisis is anticipated to continue through Thursday, August 20th as extreme temperatures and high-risk fire conditions persist across the state. The increase in cooling loads is driving demand (associated with cooling load) high, and at a time where reserve margins are low. This emergency threatens essential workers and other vulnerable populations.  What does this mean? It means more electricity is needed on the grid – and there are actions businesses can take right now in further preventing blackouts in California.

SCE Power Outage Map 
PG&E Power Outage Map

 

What you can do to help stop blackouts today

Smart energy management strategies, such as implementing automated demand response technology, enables buildings to use less energy, and respond to immediate needs of the grid.

During these unprecedented times of stress on the California energy grid, here are a few additional steps you can take, even if you are not a GridPoint customer, to help reduce electricity demand between 3pm-10pm each day:

  • Turn off all non-essential lighting
  • Set your thermostat(s) to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits
  • Defer use of major appliances
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use
  • Refrain from charging cars during peak hours
  • Close blinds and drapes to keep rooms cool
  • Use fans when possible
  • Limit time the refrigerator doors are open

Additionally, CAISO has lifted its restrictions on back-up generation usage during DR events [Order 2]. Back-up onsite generators and storage can and should be used to provide capacity to the grid. If you are a GridPoint customer with one of these asset types, please contact us for load curtailment and automated demand reduction integration options.

 

GridPoint’s contribution to CASIO emergency preparedness for blackouts

GridPoint has designed its smart buildings platform to respond to the dynamic needs of the energy grid in real-time. This past weekend, GridPoint’s distributed fleet of flexible capacity assets responded on-demand to CAISO’s emergency call to curtail all non-essential loads.

GridPoint deployed several MWs in less than 20 minutes on Saturday 8/15/20, supplying reliable capacity to the California grid.

For more information on how you can support California right now and prevent further blackouts, or if you are not yet enrolled in demand response programs, please contact us at DRTeam@gridpoint.com.

 

 

 


My Internship with GridPoint During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the landscape for almost every business in the United States and most of the world. It seems like overnight everything transitioned to the “new normal” of remote work, social distancing, and face masks - and my internship at GridPoint was no exception. Up until now every job or internship that I’ve had has been in person, luckily GridPoint already had many remote employees helping to make the transition easier. Just like many other working professionals, the new normal for me would include Zoom meetings, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meets.  This virtual experience would be a big part of this summer and I knew it would be an adjustment from previous professional experiences.

My time with GridPoint was spent working with their sales team and it was broken up into four sections, spending two weeks with each team within the department. The goal was to learn about each sales function and get a broad experience in generating leads, nurturing customer relationships, managing channel and partner opportunities, and marketing strategies for brand awareness and thought leadership.

The first stop was with GridPoint’s Customer Success team, the group responsible for maintaining customer relationships once they are brought into the GridPoint portfolio. The team walked me through their processes and metrics which made it easy to understand how they communicated with and provided value for each account. I began to better understand the type of customers GridPoint interacts with and all the hard work that goes into crafting the best solution to fit their needs. Working with the Customer Success team granted me an appreciation for the ongoing internal effort to drive long-term customer success. I was able to attend a few customer meetings and observed the team’s use of data and controls to proactively help customers respond to the new norms of business during COVID-19. Beginning my internship with Customer Success helped me to really understand the customer base and I used this as the foundation of knowledge for the rest of my time with GridPoint.

After Customer Success, I transitioned over to the Lead Generation team. This is the team tasked with identifying and prospecting potential customers for GridPoint.  Finding new opportunities meant that I would have to do some vetting of prospects to make sure I was providing quality leads with the most value-potential.  Part of that quality comes from ensuring that those prospects will find value in GridPoint solutions in the first place. I was able to take what I learned with Customer Success and build upon it by gaining a greater understanding of the flexibility of GridPoint’s solution, and how it can benefit many different sectors in different ways. My greatest takeaway from those two weeks was seeing the power of raw data. Engaging with the team and observing how the data is used to build a business case was definitely a valuable insight for me.

Weeks five and six were spent with the Channel Sales team. Prior to this experience, I didn’t have a comprehensive picture of what channel sales really meant – it’s a broad term. But thanks to the team’s expertise I caught on quickly and found out the importance of GridPoint’s channel strategy. Channel partners can open doors to new markets that a direct sales team doesn’t have clear access to, which is key to scaling – especially in the dynamic energy technology market. I got to see everything from ongoing work being done with long-time partners, to new channel relationships just starting to form. A common theme among these partners was the synergy their technologies shared with GridPoint’s technology. I found a lot of value in seeing groups from different companies work together like they’ve been coworkers for years - through digital platforms, nonetheless. On top of observing those conversations, I was tasked with doing some competitive intelligence work. I really enjoyed this project because it showed me just how complex the energy management industry is and how many companies are involved. It also taught me the importance of understanding how competition can come from many different places and that if a company wants to survive it can never get too complacent.

My final two weeks were spent with the Marketing team. This was a great place to end because it enabled me to bring everything I’d learned full-circle to help relay the GridPoint message.  I was able to further my competitive intelligence analysis and I learned the importance of clear messaging as energy evolves and new competitors enter the space. The goal was to look more at how other companies sell and portray themselves in their branding, marketing collateral, websites, and other digital platforms. Attending various webinars hosted by thought leaders in the energy space helped me see firsthand how GridPoint was positioned in the market and its ability to pivot with trends in the energy technology sector. So much of the perception of a company is rooted in how they deliver their message and differentiate the brand. Another reason I liked ending with the Marketing team was because, through this very blog post, they gave me an opportunity to reflect on my time with the company and pull together everything I’ve learned.

I had a great time interning with GridPoint. The fact that it was entirely remote ended up being a much smaller issue than I anticipated. The company is already pretty spread out, so they were well equipped to help me adjust to the new format. I learned a lot during my time with GridPoint and I definitely stayed busy. All of the team members took my time seriously and allowed me to work on projects that not only provided the company value but also gave me experience that I know I can use in my future career. I’ve always told myself that I would never work in sales unless I really believed in what I was selling. I’m happy to say that I believe in GridPoint’s mission and I believe even more in the people that are carrying out that mission to achieve a more sustainable future.

 

 

Nick Wilms
Originally from Ashtabula, Ohio, Nick is a Junior at American University in Washington, DC, majoring in economics.

 

 

 

 


Reopening businesses post-COVID-19

5 Steps to Take When Reopening Businesses Post-COVID-19

We’re all ready for business to go back to normal, but opening sites that have been dark or in a take-out-only mode for two months isn’t as easy as hitting the “on” switch. Preparation and flexible technology are key to getting your sites back online safely, quickly, and efficiently post-COVID-19. Here are the top 5 things to think about when developing your re-opening strategy:

Adjust Schedules & Setpoints Geographically as Occupancy Restrictions are Lifted

Varied restrictions are being lifted by states leaving some sites closed while others are able to open. For an enterprise, this makes it difficult to simply power back on. GridPoint’s Energy Manager Platform makes site schedules or setpoint adjustments easy by using tags. This means you can bulk update a specific schedule or zone within a specific geography – for example, all customer dining zones at sites within Virginia. This feature is a game-changer for expediting re-opening strategies and will enable enterprises to continue saving at sites that are not yet able to fully re-open. In the event new restrictions are mandated in high-traffic geographies, this feature helps to transition those sites back off making your business more resilient.

Avoid New Peak Charges from Starting All Equipment at Once

Powering all equipment back on at the same time after being off for a period of time will cause an unnecessary spike in demand.  An intelligent HVAC startup schedule will help avoid this along with costly charges from your utility.  Instead of turning all HVAC units at once, units at a location should be staggered to distribute the initial power surge over time – flattening the demand spike. Other high consuming equipment should also be staggered to minimize the chance for new peaks as well.

Leverage Setpoints to Generate Savings

Summer is a great time to save on your utility bills by increasing efficiency, especially as restrictions will likely keep occupancy lower for a while.  We recommend an occupied cooling setpoint of 72 degrees F or higher and an unoccupied cooling setpoint of 80 degrees F or higher for the best balance of comfort and savings during summer months.

Check in on your HVAC Units

The spring months are when you should be preparing your HVAC units for the hotter summer months, so if you’ve delayed any needed preventative maintenance make sure you schedule that before your sites fully open. GridPoint’s remote mobile HVAC health tools can also help evaluate the status of your units and prioritize M&R. While we’re all focused on reopening quickly, ensuring that your HVAC units are in proper working order is important to avoid costly issues or unnecessary downtime in the future.

Enroll in Demand Response to Unlock New Revenue Streams

Demand Response (DR) is a great way to earn cash back from your utility and support local sustainability initiatives.  Adding a new revenue stream like this can help offset upsets to business continuity, like COVID-19, and your participation supports the transition to a more modernized, flexible grid. GridPoint makes participation simple, and if you already have a GridPoint platform installed in your facility it is pre-approved for various programs across the country. Learn more about how DR works, why it’s important, and how businesses can get involved here.