Hi, Eugene here. I founded Bellawatt in 2017 to merge my experience consulting for electric utilities with today's web technologies.
I’ve been in the energy industry my entire career. I studied power systems at the University of Illinois, worked as an engineer at CBI, then as a consultant at Navigant. Yet still to this day I find it hard to believe that the US electric system provides near-perfect uptime at ~2.5% of a typical household’s budget, especially for a resource that for the most part is generated at the same moment that it is consumed.
As regulated monopolies, utilities are incessantly pushed to keep costs low, and consequently innovation to a minimum. The result is that smart and creative professionals ignore utilities and focus on the grid’s edge - DERs, microgrids, and EVs. But utilities aren’t going anywhere. Unless energy storage becomes cheap to the point of being nearly free, an entity will need to own and operate poles and wires, and be the provider of last resort. So why are we pretending that grid edge innovators can successfully operate in a vacuum? The whole ecosystem needs innovation and creativity, including the utilities.
A recent project of ours - the PG&E EV Fleets tool - demonstrates the kind of progress that benefits both the utility and the grid’s edge. By building a lightweight yet thorough digital product the utility is able to illustrate fuel costs (and particularly, their new EV-focused rate), thereby driving EV adoption, and ultimately improving the relationship with their commercial customers.
In just a few short years, we’ve launched similarly impactful products with energy industry leaders ranging from Sunrun and Amazon to Austin Energy and the DOE. We deeply believe in the importance of innovation within the energy ecosystem, and spend every day investing in its future.