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In this episode, Mark Danzenbaker, CEO of GridPoint, joins us to discuss the company’s innovations in comprehensive, data-driven energy management solutions (EMS), which make use of real-time data collection, big data analytics, and cloud computing to maximize energy savings, operational effectiveness, capital utilization, and sustainability advantages.

Building operations, such as heating, cooling and lighting, account for 40% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

GridPoint is helping to cut this by leading the decarbonization of commercial buildings and driving grid modernization.

In 2022, GridPoint secured a $75 million strategic investment led by Goldman Sachs and Shell Ventures.

The Virginia-based company counts established companies such as Walgreens, Wendy’s and Chipotle as its clients.

GridPoint CEO Mark Danzenbaker

First, give us a little bit of background on GridPoint

It has been a pretty exciting year for us, in terms of investment, growth, and strategy.

Our mission is entirely about accelerating the energy transition, and that is interrelated with a lot of other trends that are happening, but the idea for us is to build what we call an intelligent energy network of buildings, and we focus at the edge of the grid, in commercial buildings.

The idea is to help those buildings save energy, save money and be sustainable.

But we’re not just focused on the edge of the grid.

We are also trying to stitch together a network of those buildings together for the purposes of providing effectively a distributed virtual power plant to utilities and the grid in all the geographies that we play in.

Controlling the building assets of today and the future

We plan to do that by controlling not just the assets in the buildings of today, including heating and cooling, lighting, refrigeration, but also expanding the assets within each building to the assets of the future.

That would include EV chargers outside.

That would be deploying energy storage within the buildings that we might not own, but we would control and manage from a demand and reliability perspective.

Creating an intelligent building network

And so you start to imagine this army of buildings, this network of buildings that gets bigger every day in quantum of the number of buildings, but also gets larger in terms of the capacity and assets that we are controlling and managing within each building, and then create a bit of a network effect within each geography that’s relevant.

In the US, it’s a mix of different specific utilities, geographies and markets.

It’s of course different in every international location.

But the idea is basically the same.

The further we go down the energy transition, the more there’s going to be pressure on prices overall based on basic supply and demand, and the more that the energy transition creates variability.

Certain times of the day are going to be more valuable from a capacity perspective and there’s going to be a trend towards a more decarbonized grid, which also has importance for the people at the edge of the grid who want control for Net Zero.

Distributed virtual power plant

Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is create a distributed virtual power plant of commercial buildings, but do that on the backs of a fantastic energy efficiency business case to the commercial building owner.

And really the pitch to the customer is save energy, save money, do it without putting money down, be sustainable and help the grid.

What we control within that building evolves over time, but the idea is add more subscribers, add more assets under management, participating in more programs and expand geographically.

We are focused at the edge of the grid.

This is not big capital deployed into a single generating asset on the utility side.

It is micro capital split up into small sites. Effectively, we’re trying to create micro grids.

Focusing on the smaller buildings

We like to focus on the smaller buildings because 90% of commercial buildings are below 50,000 square feet and 70% of them are below 10,000 square feet.

We like the smaller buildings.

That’s the area that is less addressed and we think that’s an opportunity for significant expansion.

International expansion

Now, we are very focused on North America, mainly the US and Canada, but ultimately we have aspirations to go international.

We are very focused here in the US right now in growing our profile specifically with commercial buildings, but we see the opportunity to expand.

Hardware-enabled SaaS

The other thing to understand about us is that GridPoint is not pure SaaS.

This is hardware-enabled SaaS.

To us, it’s the equipment at the site, managing the assets that are there, helping understand what’s happening at the site and using the data to drive decisions from an energy efficiency perspective, from an electron perspective and for connectivity into the grid and tying them all together.

It’s a zero-down subscription so customers don’t pay us anything upfront. It’s focused on efficiency, grid services and of course, sustainability, because we’re lowering CO2 emissions.

Playing the volume game

We’re focused on the smaller buildings and we’re doing it on a volume game.

We’re not trying to do five buildings next year.

We did something like 3,000 buildings last year.

We’re doing 5,000 next year.

We’re going to keep doubling the amount of subscribers that we’re adding.

The whole goal of all of it is to make these building smart, efficient and grid-interactive.

We want to control the assets, give the customer reliability, give them cost savings, give them benefits on sustainability and on their P&L, but also help the grid.

So, the grid wins, society wins, the building owners win, businesses win and GridPoint wins too, because you’ve got a great business model and a lot of momentum behind.

That’s the very short version of what we do and where we focus.

How much can GridPoint help SMBs save, and in what other ways can GridPoint help SMBs besides cutting their energy cost?

Reducing energy costs

First of all I’d say that there’s energy efficiency improvement.

That impacts their bill which lowers their costs.

We also allow them to participate in utility programs where they can get paid by changing their demand profile which are growing in popularity here in the US.

There’s a lot of different types of programs so you can shift and manage the demand for the benefit of the bill.

Becoming more sustainable

We are also helping our customers be more sustainable.

We are really focused on Scope 2 emissions within our customers’ facilities.

We’re controlling and managing and we’re telling them how much they’re reducing which allows them to claim sustainability.

If a customer wants to make a claim of Net Zero, and if they have to get to Net Zero by buying RECs and other clean credits, they can buy less of those by having GridPoint because they are reducing the emissions in their sites.

In 2022, GridPoint secured a $75M Strategic Investment led by Goldman Sachs and Shell Ventures. How is GridPoint planning to use the funds?

Sales and marketing

We are really investing in three main areas.

The first is sales and marketing.

We are adding a lot of sales and marketing resources in order to drive revenue.

In fact, we’ve quintupled the size of our sales organization this year and we are really excited to see our pipeline grow and we have high hopes for how that will play out in terms of our revenue growth next year.

We have also hired a new Chief Revenue Officer.

So that’s number one.


Number two is we have substantially invested on the technology side.

We’ve hired a Chief Technology Officer.

We’ve also hired several dozen really strong software and other technology engineers to help us grow and expand the product, and make it stronger, better and faster. So, that’s number two.

Operations and delivery

The third is investing in the operations and delivery side of the business, making sure that we deliver on time and on budget and with quality to our customers.

So those are really the three areas that we’re investing in, and we’ve made very substantial investments in the company.

We’ve also roughly doubled the headcount of the company.

So, we hired a lot of people this year and we expect to see those hires substantially increase our revenue and products next year.

How is the new TimberRock integration going to simplify carbon management, accounting and reporting?

We believe that the future has many different opportunities.

And one of those is to combine real-time knowledge of grid generation mix in specific geographies.

We envision a future world where you can combine real-time, down to the hour and even 15-minute interval grid conditions with how clean or not clean are the electrons that are powering the facilities in that particular location.

We can combine that with the controls that we have within the building and management of the assets to help our customers manage for not only cost and general reduction in Scope 2 emissions, but substantially have outsized impact at specific times when the grid fuel mix is dirtiest.

Tell us more about the new partnership with the electric utility, Evergy, and the virtual energy management program. What is the goal of this program?

Almost all of our partnerships are aimed at how we can address more market share through a partnership.

If a partnership allows us to provide access to more paying customers, such as with TimberRock, that’s fantastic.

It’s all about driving growth and impact by adding paying subscribers.

More and more commercial buildings are installing EV chargers to serve their customers and corporate fleets. How is GridPoint helping them?

If you’re deploying Level 2 and Level 3 EV charges in a commercial building context, you’re significantly increasing the amount of energy that building is going to draw.

And as you do that, that has a substantial impact on the energy costs for that commercial building.

And so, what we want to do, given the energy price and tariff dynamics, given all the trends that I talked about, we essentially want to be able to control those assets to reduce the quantity of load in order to minimize the impact on the end customer’s energy bill and also help them manage closer towards Net Zero.

Going forward, does GridPoint have plans beyond F&B, retail and transportation?

We expect to expand to any commercial building.

We see all commercial buildings as addressable, so our growth is going to be a function of adding more capabilities of what we can control and manage in the site, increasing the number of sites that we’re selling into by going international and also increasing the types of buildings that we sell into.

All of those allow us to increase our impact, but we are being very deliberate about where we focus because we understand the importance of not trying to be all things to all people at all times.

But in our view, ultimately, all commercial buildings are addressable and all distributed energy resources are going to be managed and controlled by technology.

New markets that you wish to expand into?

That’s a great question and it’s a complex question because there’s so many different places you might want to go.

I think obviously Asia is very very important.

I would also say Europe is a very important market to expand into and look at very strongly for a lot of reasons, some of which have nothing to do with the energy transition, such as what’s happening in Eastern Europe right now.

And by extension, I would also say Latin America is potentially a viable market for us to focus on.

There’s real reliability concerns, and I think there’s an opportunity for us to help address that.

But I think the obvious areas would be Asia and Europe.


Lowering energy demand is one of the most straightforward ways to address climate change.

GridPoint is applying that in commercial buildings by leveraging technology, which makes a lot of sense, because building operations account for 40% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

By creating a distributed network of smart buildings, GridPoint allows commercial building owners to cut energy costs and contribute to fighting climate change.