Smart Energy Voices - Episode 13

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 13

The Future of Utility Energy Services with Robert Vary

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Many market trends today revolve around resiliency, sustainability, and reduction in carbon emissions. These are all at the forefront of customer's minds and are driven by their own corporate ESG goals. Robert Vary, Senior Vice President Sales & Relationship Management, Duke Energy, discusses energy solutions that allow customers to conserve their own capital while providing subscription payments that allow customers to have a predictable budget on what they spend on energy efficiency.

John Failla points out that “COVID has had an impact on everyone's budgets, but the pressure to meet goals, the pressure to meet emission targets...the investor pressure related to ESG goals is unrelenting. So...we think they're going to be much more interested in these energy-as-a-service, third-party, financing-type programs.”

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

  • Duke Energy and their Account Management and Economic Development teams [02:12]
  • Customer trends that are driving the energy market [07:14]
  • Reducing energy costs in order to focus funds on other projects [08:50]
  • ESG Investments [09:28]
  • Sustainability and decarbonization technology [09:55]
  • The need for resiliency options to sustain business and competitive advantage [10:57]
  • Energy efficiency as-a-service [13:27]
  • Emerging energy technology [16:00]

Put your money where your interest is

Robert explains how implementing energy solutions enable customers to focus their energies on their own core competencies and their money on other important company goals. He explains how Kroger was able to save enough energy through solar installations at their bakery in California that they were then able to invest their money into their Zero Hunger Zero Waste hunger-elimination program.

Weathering and thriving in the storms

When considering storms and wildfires, there is an increased need for resiliency to sustain businesses. Robert tells about solutions, such as microgrids, that enable businesses to maintain power and production during power-loss events. If one can provide service during a power outage event while other businesses cannot, they are actually able to increase the amount of business they get from their customers. Robert notes that the saves provided from resiliency solutions saved customers, on average, over 2.5 hours of downtime each, thus allowing them to continue to run their business and bring in profit.

Up-and-coming energy technologies

Robert tells us about emerging energy technologies such as fleet electrification, EV charging infrastructure, solar storage, resiliency, and energy efficiencies. As an example, Robert discusses Amazon’s $800 million investment in Rivian’s EV platform as well as their 100,000-fleet EV. Additionally, Duke Energy announced that they will be making a commitment to invest in EV and converting the majority of their fleet by 2030.

Connect with Robert Vary

Robert Vary, Senior Vice President Sales & Relationship Management, Duke Energy

Robert Vary serves as Duke Energy’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Relationship Management.He is responsible for managing accounts and business development, and driving wholesale power, commercial renewables and distributed energy solution sales for all municipal, cooperative and investor-owned utilities, as well as large commercial and industrial customers. Robert’s team is the company’s primary customer interface, managing account relationships for Duke Energy’s top accounts, engaging customers that fit within its top commercial segments, and promoting Duke Energy’s portfolio of products and solutions to our target customers. Robert joined the company in 2019 and assumed his current role in July 2020. With more than 29 years of experience in the energy industry, Robert has held various leadership roles in sales and marketing, account management, and service in the U.S. and Europe, including head of sales for the Americas region for ABB Group. Robert serves on the boards of REC Solar and Joules Accelerator. Robert received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He grew up in West Wareham, Mass. He and his wife, Michelle, have four sons.

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