Smart Energy Voices - Episode 12

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 12

The Evolution of Retail Energy with Dave Grupp

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In this episode of Smart Energy Voices, guest Dave Grupp, VP and Head of Renewable Services at Direct Energy Business, talks about his career and gives us his take on the evolution of the retail energy business, including the expanding role that renewable energy is playing within it. After 15 years in the industry, Dave has had a front-row seat to the changes that have taken place and has seen the market mature and evolve in that time.

There will be plenty to take away as he touches on many different areas of interest in his discussion with John. From challenges to successes and goals to inspirations, this is an episode with something for everyone. Energy is growing, so learning from others is one way we can grow with it.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Who Dave Grupp is and his role at Direct Energy Business [1:43]
  • Some of the biggest changes that have taken place in Dave’s time [3:32]
  • The biggest challenges for retail energy companies evolving in a changing market [4:47]
  • How has customer demand for renewable energy impacted the retail business? [6:57]
  • Why Dave was chosen for this role and some of his goals [10:57]
  • Major challenges over the last 12 months [15:08]
  • Will reluctance to adapt to renewables cause a downgrade? [18:26]
  • Dave’s 1, 5, & 10 year predictions for where energy is heading [21:07]
  • What drives Dave Grupp? [25:50]
  • Who was Dave’s biggest influence and who inspires him [30:19]
  • Pointers on successful collaboration [34:14]

Serious consolidation has taken place

One of the biggest changes that Dave has observed over time is the growth of risk management within the industry. He says the market's become more efficient and that there’s been more consolidation. Nearly half of all customer loads are controlled by the top three suppliers and around 97% by the top 20, so it's fascinating to watch where the money flows and who's paying attention to energy these days. Get the full scoop when you listen to this informative episode of Smart Energy Voices.

Future challenges could include a disruptor in the energy space

Dave talks about how there haven't been any real disruptors in the space in the last five or 10 years. The role of renewable energy and distributed energy resources have all started to become much more common and certainly create new challenges for retail suppliers. Future challenges will likely include a new disruptor, whether it be technology or someone well-capitalized that upends the current business models that we all operate under. Tech companies are very active in the renewable space. Will they become more active in the retail energy space and compete with or against suppliers or even become suppliers? Check out the full episode to learn more.

A collaboration where everyone wins is good for even your harshest critic

Collaboration is a huge factor and it potentially gets overused at times. Understanding who your stakeholders are is essential to successful collaboration. Making sure that you understand their motivations and finding a way to allow them to be successful while getting what you want and need is critical. It's been interesting for Dave to collaborate with so many different people over the years. He recommends seeking input from those that would be your strongest attractors - not just collaborating with people that agree with you or that are on your team. Who is your harshest critic, could you bring them along for the ride? If you can do that then you’ve achieved something incredible. Learn more about how when you listen to this episode of SEV.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Dave Grupp

Dave Grupp, VP, and Head of Renewable Services, Direct Energy Business

Dave Grupp serves as VP and Head of Renewable Services for Direct Energy Business. He is responsible for the overall business strategy and execution delivering renewable power and zero-carbon natural gas supply to commercial and industrial customers. Dave is currently heading the transformation of Direct Energy into the leading provider of renewable energy services in North America.

Prior to his current role, Dave spent the past 10 years as Head of National Key Accounts for Direct Energy and has over 25 years of industry experience. Dave also worked in various other capacities in sales, marketing and product management and is responsible for developing the company’s “Make Me GreenTM” renewable energy product certified by Green-e Energy.

Prior to retail energy, Dave worked for an industrial fan manufacturer providing pollution control solutions to heavy industry including chemical, steel, and power generation. In his role as Director of R&D, Dave was responsible for aerodynamic and acoustic testing and design and as Project Manager was responsible for rotordynamic and mechanical analyses while providing oversight for multimillion dollar projects.

Dave routinely presents at conferences on the topics of energy markets and renewable energy. In addition he has published and presented several technical papers on fan performance and design at AMCA/ASHRAE, EPRI, and the North American Mine Ventilation Symposium.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State with a minor in Engineering Mechanics and graduated with honors with a MBA with concentrations in Finance and Sustainability from Duquesne University.

Dave currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Milan, boys Maddox and Camden, and two yellow labs, Wallace & Grommit.

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