EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second part of an interview with Tim Healy, co-founder and chief executive officer of Enernoc, a pioneering energy management company. The article is edited for style and length.
Last week: Reimagining the Energy Sector of Tomorrow
ENERGY TIMES: What major challenges are dead ahead?
HEALY: The number one thing that is going to make us successful is also our number one challenge - which is helping our customers manage this complexity. It's not easy. These are new business processes, new tactics, new strategies, a whole new way of thinking about something that really had been perceived as a fixed-cost, that wasn't something that could be proactively managed. There's a massive opportunity in front of them to be more productive, to save money, to enhance their brand image and to differentiate their products in the marketplace.
ENERGY TIMES: Who would be responsible for ushering in this age?
HEALY: I don't think that utilities will be the primary drivers of these innovative transactive models, but I do think that they will be players in it. They will find alliances with third party providers of the technology and systems. A whole new generation of companies - some aren't even started yet – will pursue this ability to automatically transact at the edge of the grid. It could be Enernoc that is providing some of the transactive parts of the value chain. It will be small companies, and it will be big companies like Oracle, SAP, IBM and probably GE which is thinking about building the industrial internet. It will be just an ecosystem of parties that figure out how to make this work, and some will get out ahead and others will be left behind. We are on the verge of some really interesting innovation.
ENERGY TIMES: How many employees do you have and when was your company launched?
HEALY: We have about 1,400 employees worldwide and are based in Boston. We started in 2000.
ENERGY TIMES: So, what was the inspiration for you to start it? What triggered your launch of the company?
HEALY: I had watched a very impressive amount of innovation occur in the deregulation of the telecom industry. I was a venture capitalist at the time.
ENERGY TIMES: Will electric transformation be bigger than the telecom revolution?
HEALY: I think so. It's a bigger space than telephony. It's the life blood of our economy more than communications or transportation even. You start with electrification. We are on the cusp of probably the most exciting two decades of growth and innovation that's going to dwarf the growth and innovation that has gone on in the last decade. That excites me. It certainly keeps us on our toes. We are constantly reminding ourselves that we need to continue to invest in innovation and in making sure that we have cutting edge thinking, technology, software to address this massive opportunity.