Gridpoint Expands Leadership Team with New Chief Financial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer

Tom Kloster and Melissa Blanken’s expertise supports the company’s mission to deliver energy savings for businesses while accelerating the transition to a clean, reliable grid

Reston, VA — July 15, 2021 — Intelligent energy network provider GridPoint today announced two new members of its executive team, a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). GridPoint delivers energy savings, sustainability benefits, and resilience to businesses while accelerating the transition to a clean and reliable power grid, and is expanding its executive team as the company continues to scale.

As Chief Financial Officer, Tom Kloster will oversee all financial initiatives while partnering with GridPoint leaders and board members to manage the company’s rapid growth, including expansion of the company’s network of grid-interactive buildings. As a key strategic and operational leader, Mr. Kloster will optimize GridPoint’s financial structure to support the company’s rapid growth, drive cost initiatives, evaluate corporate and business development opportunities and manage investor relationships. Over a three decade career, Mr. Kloster has successfully enhanced the performance of multiple SaaS based tech-enabled businesses resulting in strategic sales or public equity offerings.

Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Blanken will elevate GridPoint’s brand to reach more businesses, utilities, strategic partners and investors. Ms. Blanken will also drive the positioning and go-to-market strategy for new product launches and features while partnering closely with the sales team to drive measurable results. She has decades of experience boosting brand awareness and sales opportunities for fast-growing, disruptive telecom, energy and technology companies, contributing to the strategic product positioning and go-to-market approach of many industry firsts.

“Tom and Melissa will help us meet growing market demand for our energy technology platform as distributed generation and energy storage proliferate, and as climate and resiliency concerns abound. With our expanded C-suite and ability to serve both sides of the meter, GridPoint is uniquely positioned to transform how businesses consume energy while supporting a stronger and more sustainable grid,” said GridPoint CEO Mark Danzenbaker.

Learn more about GridPoint’s executive leadership team.

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. By transforming the way commercial businesses use energy through hardware and AI software, GridPoint unlocks the decarbonization, sustainability, and grid resiliency required for a cleaner, more efficient tomorrow. The technology platform harnesses power and potential within a building to deliver energy, operational, and resiliency benefits. Networked together, these buildings provide reliable, precise, and instantaneous capacity for utilities and grid operators. GridPoint’s network includes Fortune 500 enterprises, utilities, government organizations and industrial complexes.

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 the 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

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.

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.

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.

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

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:

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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




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.

Leveraging Utility Rates to Unlock Maximum Savings & Revenue

Leveraging Utility Rates to Unlock Maximum Savings & Revenue

How Changes in Utility Rates can Impact Utility Program Participation

Participating in utility programs is a great way to drive additional value from your smart building platform. GridPoint’s technology is pre-qualified for many demand response and energy efficient rebate programs nationwide – this means you can use the system to unlock an ongoing stream of revenue on top of the monthly energy savings it provides. Not only does this add cash back to your organization’s bottom line, it supports local sustainability programs through your utility as well.

While enrollment is simple through GridPoint’s platform, it’s important to know that changes to your utility rates, or service provider in deregulated territories, may impact your results or eligibility. Proactive management of rates and programs can be incorporated into your GridPoint energy management strategy to ensure you can maximize savings and take full advantage of utility program offerings.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working through rate changes with your utility partners:

  • Demand Response programs and Energy Efficiency rebates usually require enrolling in and maintaining specific utility rates for a determined amount of time. Changing your rate may disqualify your site from participation in the future or impact your ability to realize full rebate potential.
  • Many utility programs do not permit “dual enrollment” or participation in more than one demand response program at a time. This can be confusing since some demand response programs are not called “demand response” but are more subtly labeled through a rate code. Changing rate or enrolling in an energy saving program through your utility, therefore, may impact your site’s ability to continue or begin participating in a demand response program. We are here to help you navigate programs and rates.
  • Some demand response programs are dependent upon the customer working with a specific Load Serving Entity (LSE), commonly known as an electricity supplier. As procurement contracts are renewed or are closed and changed to new LSEs, demand response and rebate program opportunities should be considered to help drive down total energy costs.

If any of these situations apply to you your organization or come up during your demand response enrollment, GridPoint is on hand to help determine the most advantageous rate and programs for you. In order to ensure that your business maximizes energy savings and program revenue, GridPoint will work closely with your energy procurement teams and maintain communication about rate changes and new program opportunities.

As your partner, GridPoint is here to help you save energy, money, and time. If you’re interested in discussing available programs or want to learn more about how rates can impact program success, reach out to us below.

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