Introducing Hannah Bascom, Uplight’s Chief Market Innovation Officer

By Crystal Leaver on

Hannah Bascom recently joined Uplight as our Chief Market Innovation Officer, helping the brand, corporate marketing, product marketing, and market development teams spotlight the work that Uplight is doing to power the clean energy transition. Learn about Hannah’s background, what she brings to Uplight, and why she chose to be a part of our mission.

First of all, Uplight has a big mission- to be the technology provider that enables utilities to transition to clean energy. Tell me about what factors influenced your decision to come to Uplight. 

I have always been very mission and impact aligned – I started my career in the nonprofit space and decided to go to graduate school specifically to figure out how to scale my ability to create social change. Working at PG&E, I saw how important and influential utilities were in progressing the policies and programs we need to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, and I also saw how important our partnerships were in operationalizing these. Uplight has a really unique position because we help enable energy providers accelerate their decarbonization efforts, and since we also know the consumer space so deeply to help to strengthen customer relationships with their utility. This fully aligns with my own personal mission of having an impact!

The other thing I’ll say is that I have known the Uplight team for a very long time! When I was at Nest, we participated in the first marketplaces and Orchestrated Energy programs, and the culture and people here are really the best – smart, passionate, collaborative, and fun to work with.

You have a new role at Uplight as Chief Market Innovation Officer, which is exciting. Could you describe your role? What are some of your first projects that you’ll tackle? 

I view my team as helping to create a virtuous cycle for Uplight, as well as the broader industry, in creating and capitalizing market opportunities for decarbonization. First of all, my team will work with partners and regulators to develop additional market opportunities for clean energy, electrification, demand-side resources, etc., which are such an essential part of moving towards a decarbonized future. As Uplight, we also have to ensure that we deeply understand those opportunities and position our products to deliver the results that are needed… and also that we are continually showing up as thought leaders to highlight successes, challenge the status quo and show what’s possible. 

You’ve both worked in utilities and in technology companies partnering with utilities. How do you see your experience helping Uplight better partner with energy and ecosystem providers to power the clean energy transformation? 

Uplight’s role in enabling an ecosystem, and providing end-to-end solutions, is really important in this transition and I think I’ve had a few key learnings that guide my philosophy – First, coalition and collaboration are essential at this juncture. The status quo is the fiercest competition and we need everyone’s help in accelerating a decarbonized future. So, our job is to work with utilities, regulators, OEMs, implementers, and customers of all types to make that possible. 

Second – My Nest experience taught me that people really do want to do the right thing for the climate (and their bills) – but that they are busy and unsure of what to do to help. Without a unified customer experience where it’s easy to understand options, install devices, enroll in programs, and automate participation, the promise of a distributed energy future can’t be realized.  

Last, I think that the transition to a decarbonized future is inevitable, but the speed and winners/losers in this transition are still quite uncertain. My work on both PG&E’s CARE program, as well as Nest’s Power Project, impressed upon me how important it is to approach our work with equity and urgency. We can all have a brighter future with this transition, but it’s incumbent on those of us thinking about operationalizing these programs to ensure that they get rolled out in a way that ensures that’s the case

Tell me about what keeps you busy outside of Uplight. What helps you charge your own batteries to do this work? 

I am a mom to two kiddos – 1 and 4 – so I laugh anytime anyone asks me about my hobbies. But they really are the best source of busyness that I could ever have hoped for! Other than that, I need both exercise and solid sleep to keep it all  mostly together, and I love to cook (mostly because I love to eat). We redid our house last year and now have this bright yellow induction stove – it’s seriously amazing. 

What are your first impressions of working at Uplight? 

I have felt so welcomed by the team here – everyone is really smart and kind. When you spend time with Uplighters, you can feel the enthusiasm for the work we do – these are such important and hard problems to solve, and everyone is so tenacious in pursuit of progress… but there’s also a lot of smiles and laughter throughout the day.  Also, a lot is going on! But I think our end-to-end solutions are what make us unique and there’s also a lot of pride there.


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