Join the Journey

Whether you'd like us to help you use less energy and get more cash, you're interested in joining the team, you're a journalist looking for the scoop, or an investor wondering how to accelerate our growth, send us a message and we'll be sure to follow up immediately.

Digital

P - 415-463-4236
E - info@voltus.co
www.voltus.co
voltusinc @ twitter

Worldwide Headquarters

Voltus, Inc.
542B Presidio Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94129

 

1277 Union St.
San Francisco, CA 94109

Vlog

Wanted: Women in Cleantech

Gregg Dixon

image (3).png

Recently I was in a meeting with four other women and it was embarrassingly notable. I've long ago stopped noticing when I am in a meeting with four men, so why should four women catch my attention? The answer of course is that this was a rare occurrence.  Ask any woman in cleantech and she'll tell you she's more often than not the only female in the room. I will admit that in the past I used do things like wear my glasses, put my hair back, wear a button-up shirt - essentially I was trying to blend in, so I wouldn't be perceived or judged in any way beyond my professional contributions. These were physical adjustments, rather than what I believe are more appropriate behavioral ones. Women should speak up more, say sorry less, demand what they want, and stop caveating. We need to fight the gender gap in cleantech, and encourage more women to enter, stay in, and become leaders in this amazing field. 

Ironically, the clean energy industry is one of the best opportunities to have a positive influence in the world. It impacts everyone, and getting it right makes our planet better. It is exciting, fun, and has a positive social impact . . . something that women rank very highly when considering their careers. Sadly, many still believe inherent biological reasons exist that make men better suited for STEM careers than women. Absurd . . . yes, but the argument boils down to this: if 30 applicants apply for a position and only 4 of them are female, odds are that the best candidate for the job is male . . . and doesn't every company just want to hire the best? What this is missing, however, is that the industry has a pipeline problem. The problem isn't that a company might select one of the 26 males as the best candidate for the position - the problem is that the company didn't do more up front on the issue that only 13% of their candidates in the pipeline were women to begin with. 

At Voltus, we know we need to proactively recruit female candidates . . . the male candidates come to us easily. This is because, not surprisingly, our professional networks represent the existing industry bias - sitting at just 23% female, so we need to actively manage against this in order to avoid perpetuating the problem.  We have done dramatically more direct outreach to female candidates, recruited directly through university networks (which have closer to even ratios), and posted and networked within female-based industry groups. We've done a decent job of improving the number of female candidates we attract, but we need to do much, much better.  

We seek creative new ways to build out our pipeline of female candidates . . . this post itself is written to raise this issue and attract female candidates. Please share your stories, feedback, and advice with us, send this around to your female friends and colleagues, and come talk to us! 

Dana Guernsey - Vice President of Market and Business Operations, Voltus, Inc.

image (2).png

Got CashGen?

Gregg Dixon

cashgen.png

Did you once use your onsite generator to earn revenue through demand response? If the answer is yes, you'll want to join this webinar.

  • As you likely know, in 2016 a US district court vacated language in EPA regulations that allowed onsite generation at commercial and industrial sites to participate in demand response programs under "emergency" operating conditions. It also had implications in Canada.
     
  • The elimination of this language effectively removed 3,000 MWs of demand response from markets throughout the US and Canada.
     
  • In this webinar, the leading demand response and generator experts will show you just how simple it can be to restart the cash flow from your generator at no cost and no risk in a simple, single-page DR agreement.

Please join us by choosing one of the scheduled webinars below and we'll send you a special link with details. 

Name *
Name
Phone
Phone
Choose Webinar Preference *

When $10 Million Shows Up in Your Bank Account . . .

Gregg Dixon

funding.jpg

Today, Voltus got a little pocket money (PR Newswire). It's creating quite a bit of buzz in the industry (Greentech Media) and we're grateful for the attention it's getting.

The back story is pretty simple: a few of us put our nose to the grindstone for a year, built a great technology, signed up a bunch of customers, generated profits, and attracted the interest of investors who really liked the focused business model we developed to attack a huge, underpenetrated market where the competition wasn't innovating or fully serving customers.

But what's the secret to our success and how do we plan to extend this success with $10 million in the bank? First, our success to date is simply a matter of attracting bright, gritty, and good people who are passionate about solving energy challenges. Second, our vision is simple: deliver more demand response dollars to the bottom line for our customers than anyone in the industry . . . less energy, more cash. Put the people and the vision together and get out of the way!

This simple model has us doing three things: we build product, we sell product, and we deliver cash to customers. This aligns with how we differentiate: we have a best-in-class technology platform that unlocks every possible revenue stream for our customers, we have a transparent, no-cost, no-risk, single page commercial agreement that makes it easy for our customers to do business with us, and we are world leaders in understanding energy markets and demand response which allows us to more than double the value customers get from what they've been doing in the past.

So, for our part, Matt and I sell. We evangelize. That's us at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, Illinois last week in the midst of a Monday morning through Friday evening road trip. We crossed paths in Springfield, signed our funding documents, snapped a pic with the front desk attendant, and went our separate ways, Matt to Peoria, I to Champaign-Urbana. We'll sign up a dozen or so new customers from that trip.

We're pretty sure that our competition's CEO and President don't do this. We're pretty sure they don't commit to delivering 100 MW individual sales quotas each year. Because selling is hard, yet it's the single most valuable thing a company does in a growing market. And Matt and I love to do it . . . we love to meet our customers . . . at their steel plants, their wastewater treatment plants, their grocery stores, their data centers . . . we love to see the pride they take in their work . . . we love to forge new friendships . . . we love to learn about their unique challenges . . . we love to tell the Voltus story . . . and we love to pay our customers to use our product to help them make their businesses stronger.

Our team has a clear plan on how to turn that $10 million into $100 million in short order by delivering exceptional value to customers. You can be sure that Matt and I will be on the road doing our part to help our team get the cash to the customers.

Giddy up!

Use of Demand Response Reduces Energy Costs, Creates Jobs in Illinois

Gregg Dixon

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, September 13, 2017 - Voltus, Inc., a leading provider of cash-generating energy products, announced today that it has been selected as one of only two winning suppliers of the Illinois Power Agency's Midcontinent Independent System Operator Zone 4 capacity procurement. Voltus’s commercial, institutional, and industrial demand response network now totals nearly 600 MWs in the MISO portion of Illinois and has helped the average C&I customer’s energy costs decrease by nearly $50,000 annually. The targeted 826 MWs of capacity procured in this process was for planning years 2018/2019 and the award to Voltus is the first time a demand response provider has won a contract in the Illinois Power Agency procurement process, which began in 2007. Additional details on the RFP results are found at: https://www.ipa-energyrfp.com/?wpfb_dl=1382.

"Our C&I-focused demand response network in Illinois has delivered tremendous savings to customers, significantly reducing capacity prices that amount to 30% of a customer's annual energy bill," said Gregg Dixon, CEO of Voltus. “What we find most interesting is that the recent IPA procurement secured capacity at 10% of the cost of the well-known subsidies to two uneconomic nuclear plants that formed the basis for Illinois SB2814. In other words, the state didn’t need those subsidies in order to provide safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy to its citizens."

As a percentage of state electricity demand, and with the help of Voltus, Illinois now leads the nation in demand response MWs enabled to meet state-wide electricity supply needs while delivering among the nation's best power reliability and lowest capacity rates. As this resource grows rapidly in Illinois rate payers enjoy a 250% return on the dollars invested in demand response versus a traditional mix of supply, as evidenced by an Advanced Energy Economy report found at: http://info.aee.net/hubfs/PDF/aee-peak-demand-reduction-strategy.pdf?t=1446657847375.

"Illinois legislators got it half right," said Matthew Plante, Voltus President. "While the subsidies offered to the nuclear industry through SB2814 were expensive and unnecessary, Illinois deserves credit for fully incorporating demand response into its resource mix. With all the talk about job creation, it’s amazing that a change as simple as encouraging more demand response can result in real job creation and a spark for Illinois economic growth. Voltus is excited about stimulating these kinds of direct benefits from our innovations in demand response and energy management."

To learn more about Voltus, visit www.voltus.co or email info@voltus.co.

About Voltus, Inc.

Voltus represents the "potential of us" to better manage energy through simple, cost-free energy management products. Our commercial and industrial customers generate cash by allowing us to be their energy expert while we deliver innovative demand response, energy purchasing, and energy efficiency programs to them. It's this simple: a customer signs up with Voltus and every quarter we deliver dollars. Voltus makes money when our customers make money by sharing the cash generated from working together. What's more, there are significant community benefits that accompany working with Voltus - a cleaner, more reliable energy future and dollars invested back into your business and jobs instead of being wasted on a larger energy bill.

Voltus Media Relations:  Gregg Dixon - 617-283-9387 - greggdixon@voltus.co

DR is Dead

Gregg Dixon

DR, as you've known it, is dead. Join us to learn two truths and a lie: 

  1. Truth: Customers are fleeing flagship demand response programs in PJM, New England, and New York as program risks and demands on customers increase  
  2. Truth: "Out-of-market" demand response is replacing traditional demand response: it provides less risk and a better financial proposition to customers
  3. Lie: Learn how your demand response provider has been underpaying you, keeping for itself some of the money earned by customers

We expect more than 3,000 commercial and industrial customers to join us for these webinars. Please join us by choosing one of the four scheduled webinars detailed below and we'll send you a special link with details. 

Name *
Name
Phone
Phone
Choose Webinar Preference *

Former FERC Chairman and Battery Storage CEO Join Voltus Strategic Advisory Board

Gregg Dixon

SAN FRANCISCO and BOSTON, June 1, 2017 - Voltus, Inc., a leading provider of cash-generating energy products, announced today that Jon Wellinghoff and Phil Giudice have joined its Strategic Advisory Board.

"Jon and Phil are legends in the energy industry with a combined 80 years of leadership experience that will help effect Voltus's market direction, regulatory influence, product roadmap, and growth initiatives. Be it global, federal, state, public, or private, they’ve left their imprimatur on some of the most positive, landmark changes in the energy industry," said Gregg Dixon, Voltus CEO. "We are thrilled that they've agreed to join forces with our team to reinvigorate the demand response industry and continue leveling the playing field for distributed energy resources of all types."

Mr. Wellinghoff is an internationally-heralded champion of distributed energy resources and renewable energy and a Principal at Policy/DER. Most recently, Jon was the Chief Policy Officer for SolarCity. Jon was first appointed as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by President George W. Bush in 2006. He was named Chairman of FERC by President Barack Obama in 2009 and is perhaps best known for his authorship and implementation of FERC Order 745. FERC Order 745 catalyzed demand response as the "killer app" of the smart grid and was the subject of a Supreme Court of the United States battle that ultimately cemented demand response under the jurisdiction of FERC in wholesale energy markets. During his tenure at FERC, Jon also championed opening wholesale electric markets to renewable resources and various forms of distributed resources including energy efficiency, local energy storage systems, and plug-in electric vehicles.

Jon earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Nevada, his masters in mathematics teaching from Howard University, and his law degree from Antioch University.

Mr. Giudice has more than 40 years of leadership experience across a broad spectrum of the energy industry, and is currently the CEO of Ambri, an energy storage company started at MIT, where it invented liquid metal batteries. Previously, Phil served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Undersecretary of Energy and as Commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources, the state agency with primary responsibility for fulfilling Governor Deval Patrick's vision for a clean energy future. Phil served as the National Association of State Energy Officers (NASEO) board chair as well as on the US Department of Energy’s State Energy Advisory Board, Energy Efficiency and Renewables Advisory Committee, and State Energy Efficiency Action Network.

Prior to his service in the Patrick-Murray Administration, Phil was Senior Vice President and board member at EnerNOC. He was previously a senior partner and leader of Mercer Management Consulting's global energy utilities practice for 20 years. Phil is a geologist (B.S. from University of New Hampshire and M.S. in Economic Geology from the University of Arizona) and a management professional (M.B.A. from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth).

"As we choose candidates for our strategic advisory board, we look for folks who combine tremendous experience and results with the kindred spirit of the Voltus culture: bright, gritty, and good. Jon and Phil exemplify the kinds of leaders we seek counsel from . . . folks who think big, expect a lot from themselves and their teammates, and put potential into action. We're excited to drive results from the guidance they provide."

To learn more about Voltus, visit www.voltus.co or email info@voltus.co.

About Voltus, Inc.

Voltus represents the "potential of us" to better manage energy through simple, cost-free energy management products. Our commercial and industrial customers generate cash by allowing us to be their energy expert while we deliver innovative demand response, energy purchasing, and energy efficiency programs to them. It's this simple: a customer signs up with Voltus and every quarter we deliver dollars. Voltus makes money when our customers make money by sharing the cash generated from working together. What's more, there are significant community benefits that accompany working with Voltus - a cleaner, more reliable energy future and dollars invested back into your business and jobs instead of being wasted on a larger energy bill.

Voltus Reinvigorates Customer Appetite for Demand Response, Secures Nearly 400 New MWs of DR

Gregg Dixon

SAN FRANCISCO and BOSTON, April 28, 2017 - Voltus, Inc., a leading provider of cash-generating energy products, announced its first results from its July 2016 business launch today, highlighted by bringing nearly 400 MWs of new commercial and industrial demand response to markets throughout the US and Canada.

"We kept hearing over and over from our customers, 'Savings, not software!' We founded Voltus because customers have big enough challenges managing their core mission, which typically doesn't include investing in software, staffing, and fee-for-services to 'treasure hunt' for energy savings. Our focus on cash savings delivered at no cost and no risk on a single page agreement has reinvigorated customer interest in demand response," said Gregg Dixon, Voltus CEO.

Summary Results and Highlights from July 2016 through March 2017

Market and Customers

  • Sold 400 MWs of new demand response contracts across all major North American energy markets, including ISO-NE, OPA, NYISO, PJM, MISO, ERCOT, AESO, and CAISO.
     
  • Secured a multi-year, bilateral utility agreement with Enerlogics and Duquesne Light for 46 MWs as part of the Pennsylvania Act 129 program.
     
  • Became first Aggregator of Retail Customers (ARC) to bring MWs into the MISO planning reserve auction (PRA), clearing more than 300 MWs of zonal resource credits (ZRCs), and opening a new, 10,000 MW+ market for third party aggregators.
     
  • Established multi-year utility and supplier relationships in MISO outside of the PRA to sell ZRCs bilaterally, protecting customer demand response value.
     
  • Initiated new agreements with more than 60 national accounts, across 15 states.
     
  • Enabled nearly 600 sites to participate in demand response, from 6 kW quick serve retail customers to 20 MW steel foundries.

Technology Platform

  • Developed and commercialized the Voltlet™ hardware platform to support capacity, energy, and ancillary services demand response with a bill of materials of less than $100 per unit, including end-to-end encryption of telemetry data over a secured cellular VPN.
     
  • Launched its native, cloud-based energy management platform, VoltApp™, to support demand response, energy procurement, and energy efficiency for commercial and industrial customers.
     
  • Introduced VoltMarket™, a distributed energy resources (DER) platform used to monetize DER assets in any energy market in capacity, energy, and ancillary services, targeting energy storage, distributed generation, demand response, and virtual energy trading.
     
  • Achieved OpenADR compliance and finalized interoperability with a number of technology and marketing partners.

Financial

  • Secured an estimated, total contracted revenue and gross margin backlog of $20 million and $8 million, respectively.
     
  • Self-funded early results and now actively seeking strategic financial partners to support aggressive growth opportunities to scale the business.

"We threw down the gauntlet. This remains an enormous market opportunity with tremendous growth potential. But customers are struggling to get as much value as they deserve. The simple, transparent value we offer our customers is being received well. We offer 'less energy, more cash,' delivered by leading energy experts, which allows our customer to focus on their core business," said Matt Plante, Voltus President.

To learn more about Voltus, visit www.voltus.co or email info@voltus.co.

About Voltus, Inc.

Voltus represents the "potential of us" to better manage energy through simple, cost-free energy management products. Our commercial and industrial customers generate cash by allowing us to be their energy expert while we deliver innovative demand response, energy purchasing, and energy efficiency programs to them. It's this simple: a customer signs up with Voltus and every quarter we deliver dollars. Voltus makes money when our customers make money by sharing the cash generated from working together. What's more, there are significant community benefits that accompany working with Voltus - a cleaner, more reliable energy future and dollars invested back into your business and jobs instead of being wasted on a larger energy bill.

Voltus Media Relations:

Gregg Dixon
617-283-9387
greggdixon@voltus.co

The Search for "Good"

Gregg Dixon

Credit: Boston Red Sox, Facebook

Credit: Boston Red Sox, Facebook

(Hint: It's Easy to Find Bright and Gritty)

We’re off and running (or, in our case, saving our customers money) at Voltus, having just been awarded an opportunity to provide 50 MWs of demand response in connection with Pennsylvania Act 129. As such, we’re hiring. Hiring is the ultimate on-the-job training; you can’t learn how to hire in school. Gregg and I have directly hired hundreds of people over the last decade. Most succeeded. Many started their own company. Many more became CEOs, Chief Commercial Officers, VPs of Sales or Engineering, CMO's, and product leaders at other successful companies. Of course, we made plenty of mistakes along the way, too, which has helped us refine our criteria for picking teammates. This post will explain who we look to hire, and why, with an emphasis on the element most difficult to spot: good. We know that if we follow our formula of hiring well, and provide a winning vision to the team, Voltus is guaranteed to be successful.

In short, we hire people who are bright, gritty, and good. We hire bright because energy markets are complicated and because you just can't train for raw intelligence. We hire gritty because there’s no substitute for hard work, for passionate perseverance, for self-initiative, for commitment, for a need to finish the job. We hire good because we want to be surrounded by human beings who make us better people. Bright + gritty, without good, is a bad combination (think Enron, for example) and, what's more, our culture loves to celebrate winning. Nobody likes celebrating with a jerk.

But what exactly is “good”? We provide the Voltus definition below. In addition, and importantly, we recognize that “good” people sometimes work for bad companies. We feel a deep responsibility to ensure that our “good” people at Voltus are supported, challenged, respected, and rewarded. We’ll explain how we’re doing our best to ensure that Voltus personifies good.

Defining Good

Future Hall of Famer Theo Epstein brought a World Series to Boston (after an 86 year drought) and may just do the same in Chicago (the Cubs’ drought extends back to 1908). Theo believes in “scouting the person more than the player.” We agree. Bright and gritty give us the player; good gives us the person. Think Big Papi vs. Manny.

Now, bright and gritty are objective. They’re easy to measure. They reveal themselves on resumes, they show up in interviews. But good? Good is subjective. My “good” can be different than your “good.” Said another way, if you’re not good, you’re not necessarily bad. You’re just not right for Voltus.

Compassionate, honest, respectful, customer-centric, fun, mission-driven, humble, followers of the Golden Rule, don’t-take-yourself-too-serious, team players. Those are all must-haves in our good, and they’re likely to be uncontroversial. Our good also includes direct, opinionated, evangelical, impatient, intense, loving people. That’s one special person. Which is exactly why it’s so important that we live up to the standard we seek in others.

Personifying Good

As leaders, we aim to help our teammates to be productive, to be happy, and to grow continually. That’s our charge to the Voltus team. To make that a reality, we commit to the following:

  • We make our values, strategy, and progress toward our goals crystal clear to everyone on the team - no hidden agendas
  • We ground everything in a business case, especially hiring. We will not over hire. Growth unsupported by long-term business prospects results in painful layoffs
  • We are inclusive and give every teammate an opportunity to bring solutions to the table every day - if you have a better way of doing things, bring it!
  • We prioritize the long-term, recognizing that this is sometimes easier said than done
  • We trust, since “trust leads to happy days,” per the Dalai Lama
  • We believe that people should live and work in a place they love. In other words, work from home with your dog by your side if you like
  • We encourage personal and professional development. A small, but symbolic, reward is that every teammate has an unlimited budget for reading material so long as it makes them a better person
  • We don't ask our employees to sign non-competes. If you want to leave Voltus, we’re failing you, and you should leave
  • We allow unlimited paid time off. Go away for the month of August with your family to Hungary. But figure out how we're going to hit goals - those won't change
  • We encourage out-of-the-office passions and we highlight teammate achievements
  • We do what we say we’re going to do

I love the team we’ve built and we're just getting warmed up. Our product is in demand, and we’re hiring. Come create some good with us.