This post was originally published on Simple Energy’s website. Simple Energy is now Uplight.
A consortium of eight of the leading global utilities has selected Simple Energy as one of the 12 companies for a new, first-of-its-kind innovation program. The utilities—AusNet Services, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), ESB Ireland (Electricity Supply Board), EDP (Energias de Portugal), innogy SE, Origin Energy, Singapore Power, and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)—created the program, called Free Electrons, to identify companies to scale around the world through pilot programs and investment.
The Free Electrons leadership works with later-stage startups that have seen promising market traction, enlisting companies it believes can drive next-generation ideas in clean energy, energy efficiency, e-mobility, digitization, and on-demand customer services. The 12 participants were selected from 450 applicants.
The program provides curated support and access to a network of utility giants with more than 70 million customers in both electricity and gas across 40 countries. The eventual goal: co-creating the future of energy.
“The traditional utility business model is changing rapidly, and that’s happening around the world,” says Simple Energy CEO Yoav Lurie. “Our software-as-a-service model allows any utility to form deeper relationships with their customers, enables to them to offer dynamic new programs, and allows them to create new revenue sources—all of which will also save energy.
“We’re honored and excited to test our model on an international scale.”
Simple Energy will work closely with local accelerators, utilities, mentors and other resources in order to jump-start our growth. The program includes three separate weeks of ‘customer adoption’ modules in Silicon Valley, Lisbon/Dublin and Singapore; ongoing conversations between startups and utilities to seed pilot projects, investments and other commercial relationships; and an ongoing mentorship program.
“Simple Energy has proven that it can motivate customers to take energy-saving actions and build utility brand equity at the same time,” says Florian Kolb, Managing Director of innogy New Ventures LLC, the initiators of Free Electrons. “We think their platform of utility-branded marketplaces can translate into markets beyond the US and enable new utility business models around the world. We look forward to exploring and creating these concrete opportunities during our program as well as with our other 11 finalists.”
The Free Electrons program begins on April 30 and runs for 12 weeks. It culminates in a final module focused on contracting pilot projects between the startups and utilities.