Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Role for Paul. Blog and Email to Continue.

I've accepted a new position as VP of Products at FirstFuel Software.  FirstFuel Software is a venture-backed energy data analytics company that works with utilities and government institutions to identify energy savings (using remote audits and other techniques), to engage building owners and operators (through traditional and web-based programs), and to track projects and savings.  Customers include Pacific Gas & Electric, Department of Defense, U.S. General Service Administration, and others.  I'm delighted to join such a talented team.  My role as VP, Products is to lead the product planning and product management efforts.

This move was attractive for several reasons. Careerwise, it's a move back to a technology products company (my career experience before Groom Energy) instead of a services company.  It also fits with two common themes we saw at Groom Energy: the importance of utilities working as a partner with energy and facility managers through incentives, rebates, financing, and advice and the criticality of a cost-effective source of energy cost and use (monthly and interval) data.   

Groom Energy continues to do very well (it had a fantastic growth year in 2013), and I value my time and friendships there.  Groom Energy is an implementation partner at FirstFuel, so I look forward to continuing to work with the team. 

There are several transition items. In terms of the market and vendor research (Enterprise Smart Grid, Enterprise Energy Management Software, Enterprise Carbon Accounting), it is not yet clear if this will continue. There remains much interest and value in this research, and it may continue at Groom Energy or another firm depending on staffing.

The email and blog will continue from my new role at FirstFuel Software. It has been a fascinating experiment from the first email sent December 9, 2008, to 24 people to this email, the 168th, sent to 5,123 people in 2014. While the utility of Twitter for business remains elusive (at least for me), the value and cost-effectiveness of relevant emails and blogs remain high.  I'm proud of the small community we have created through the sharing of hundreds of emails and many email introductions, and I plan on continuing this practice.

Going forward, the vision for this email and the blog changes only slightly.  It will continue to focus on trends and best practices for energy efficiency for commercial, industrial, and government organizations, but more emphasis will be on the motivation of organizations and teams actually implementing projects (I call it the "propensity to act," which is an important dimension to the "savings potential" for each facility).  I believe these topics will continue to be important to corporate energy, facility, and sustainability leaders.  Discussion of the differences among vendor solutions will no longer be covered (and while I am very proud of the technology at FirstFuel, the email and blog are not intended to be a vendor promotion vehicle).  

I hope you continue to be a reader of the blog and the email as we learn together.

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