As another year whizzes by like a Tesla on Ludicrous Speed, I make it a habit of grabbing the rearview mirror and seeing what a wild ride it’s been. And let me tell you, folks, 2023 didn’t disappoint, so here are 10 things that stand out as lessons learned and moments to celebrate:
1. The Uplight Crew: Rockstars with Heart
Uplight is all about genuine passion and a shared purpose. This year, I’ve witnessed incredible growth within our product team, with promotions well-deserved for Jesse Ryan, Glenn Murphy, Michaela Lewin, and John McGarry. Their dedication is inspiring, and their talents are shaping the future of energy. It’s an atmosphere where growth isn’t a competition, it’s a collective high-five.
2. Decarbonization? It’s Real, Folks!
Remember when “electrification” was just a fancy buzzword? Well, 2023 saw it morph into a full-blown power play. The IRA has lit up the industry, and Uplight stepped onto the stage with partnerships like Qmerit and Schneider Electric, electrifying homes and businesses across the continent. We even snagged a spot on Energize Capital’s “Top 30 Software Electrify Everything Innovators” list, proving we’re not just making noise, we’re changing the game.
3. Work-Life Balance, Uplighted
Hybrid work isn’t just a fad, it’s a permanent fixture! This summer, my family and I traded in the Colorado mountains for Costa Rican beaches, and it was a productivity and happiness boost like no other. Seeing other Uplighters living life on the go, from Maine to Mexico, confirms that location isn’t everything – results and well-being are. And hey, Fast Company agrees – they named Uplight one of the Best Places to Work!
4. But There’s Nothing Like (the Original) Face Time
While virtual high-fives rock, there’s something special about seeing your colleagues in the flesh. Uplight’s Boulder HQ saw a welcome surge of in-person collaboration, and trust me, Miro and Lucid are amazing, but there’s no substitute for grabbing a marker and brainstorming on a real whiteboard like it’s 2019. That 3D energy just fuels innovation.
5. Hitting the Road, Shaking Hands, and Seeing More Than PowerPoint Decks
Client visits went from screen shares to handshakes in 2023, and my calendar was chock-full of client visits, partner on-site trips, and industry events – IEEE PES Grid Edge, AESP Annual and SummerCon, Parks Associates‘ Smart Energy Summit, Uplight Customer Connect (and I even got to chair a panel or two!). These weren’t just business trips, they were journeys of purpose, connecting with amazing people working towards a greener future.
6. Mission Matters and Ours is Electrifying
Being part of a team driven by a mission bigger than ourselves adds a jolt of meaning to every day. Uplight was re-certified as a B-Corp (increasing our score by 35% since our founding in 2019, no less!), and our volunteer program kept the good vibes flowing. Personally, once again leading the Uplight MoBros for Movember and raising over $6,000 for men’s health was a highlight. Proving that saving the planet and growing a mustache can go hand-in-hand.
7. Innovation Station: Products that Pack a Punch
As VP of Product, seeing Uplight launch game-changing products, features, and services in 2023 fills me with pride. The industry took notice too – we were again named a Leader in the Guidehouse Leaderboard for Customer Engagement and Experience Analytics, proving that our tech is as sharp as our mission.
8. Real Impact: Numbers that Sing (and Save the Planet)
And the best part? Our products are making a real difference on the grid. We surpassed 400k customers enrolled in our DR programs, with PG&E alone rocketing past 100k customers in their Smart AC program. And every month we unleashed an additional 15MW of flexible capacity – enough to power a small town! Talk about an electrifying impact.
9. VPPs: From Hype to Hyperdrive
Remember when Virtual Power Plants (or VPPs) were just a buzzword? Well, move over, hype train – 2023 saw the VPP world enter an era of real-world application, scale, and results. Autogrid’s Puget Sound Energy VPP is a shining example, and the industry chatter is finally shifting toward value, use cases, and concrete results.
10. The Big Announcement: Uplight + Autogrid = EPIC
And finally, the cherry on top of the 2023 sundae – Uplight’s announcement to acquire Autogrid! As a pioneer in VPP and DERMS, AutoGrid brings incredible talent and technology to the table. With the deal closing in the new year, 2024 promises to be a game-changer for Uplight, the energy industry, and even the planet. So, buckle up, 2024 is going to be one electrifying ride, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!