With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, we know our need to connect with others is fundamental to our well-being. It was in this spirit that Uplight recently hosted our inaugural Uplight Customer Connect event at our headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.
As we sensed an opportunity to emerge from our screen-induced stupor, we set out to create an environment where Uplight and our most important utility clients could connect: With each other, with our mission, with the challenges we’re facing in fighting climate change, and with inspiration to carry on.
And so it was that in the second week of May, clients representing a dozen utilities from all corners of the country came to Boulder and connected:
- To each other: We created small discussion groups across key challenges and solutions, ranging from EV journeys to Rates to Business Customer Solutions. Facilitated by an Uplighter expert, we shared our perspective and product roadmap, but more importantly heard about market challenges from our client partners, and what they needed from us.
- To the larger clean energy ecosystem: We hosted a handful of companies that play in the clean energy space: GridX, ChargePoint, Resource Innovations, and QMerit co-hosted sessions to share capabilities, possibilities, and hear “wish-fors” from our clients.
- To our executive team: Our C-suite was on-hand throughout – Chief Executives of Strategy, Operations, Product, Customers, People, Marketing, Finance, and Adrian Tuck, our CEO, were all on-hand throughout to participate, answer and ask questions, and share a beverage or two.
- To key issues our industry faces: In an interactive panel discussion, we talked about Data Stewardship and how regulations and rules from multiple sources can sometimes have competing interests.
- To each other: In addition to group discussions, clients heard from one of their own who is leading the way. Chuck Caisley, Chief Customer Officer at Evergy, shared Evergy’s ongoing journey in working towards Net-Zero by 2045.
- To Boulder!: Boulder has been named a Best Place to Live on many lists, and we took advantage of our environment with outdoor dining, a foray to famous Pearl Street, and views of the Flatirons from our own balcony.
- To inspiration: A highlight was hearing from Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind climber to summit Mount Everest. Erik shared stories about overcoming his own barriers: They’re real, not merely perceived, and obstacles encountered can either stop us in our tracks, or we can figure out a way to harness them to propel us forward. Erik has gone on to inspire and help others through his nonprofit, from wounded veterans to a woman born with Cerebral Palsy, find their “No Barriers” moment. I won’t name names, but even the sound engineer was crying.
This gathering also represents the formation of the Uplight Advisory Group. These partners represent capacities at utilities ranging from demand response, business solutions, energy efficiency strategy, load management, digital products and services, and more. These diverse perspectives are critical to continue to provide feedback and insights to Uplight as we scale and address ever larger challenges.
Post-event, we hope that these attendees become a core, connected, strategic voice for Uplight, as well as within their respective utility companies.
If you’re reading this as a utility client of Uplight and want to learn more, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s, well, connect!