Smart Energy Voices- Episode 31
The State of Retail Energy Partnerships, with Raj Bazaj
In this episode of Smart Energy Voices, host John Failla speaks with Raj Bazaj, Executive Director of Solution Sales at Constellation. John and Raj discuss the future of retail energy partnerships and the impact that has on the energy industry. Listen to hear Raj share his personal insights on sustainability and energy solutions in retail environments. This episode is made in partnership with Constellation.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...
- Raj Bazaj’s work at Constellation [2:29]
- What do today’s customers want in a business relationship? [4:22]
- Using analytics to track fluctuations [9:58]
- Ways retail companies are evolving [14:15]
- How is Constellation thriving? [16:50]
- Constellation’s integrated product portfolio [22:00]
- What should customers be thinking about? [27:18]
- Raj’s passion for retail energy [30:58]
New energy partnership expectations
Change in the energy industry is steadily increasing. Companies are no longer looking simply to purchase energy. Rather, they’re more focused on long-term, integrated energy solutions. Furthermore, they are more environmentally conscious than ever before. ESG is playing a bigger role as more and more declare new sustainability goals. The pressure companies are facing from shareholders, customers, and competitors is moving them to make positive changes in their climate impact.
Areas like sustainability are no longer simply trendy; they’re mainstream. Companies have higher expectations of energy partnerships. Constellation meets those expectations by providing companies with customized solutions based on their specific needs. With a focus on renewables, financing for energy efficiency products, analytics, behind-the-meter products, and fleet electrification, Constellation creates solutions that help companies best reach their goals.
Purchasing energy in today’s culture
Companies face a lot of challenges when purchasing energy. Now, instead of having a single buyer, many stakeholders have to agree on an objective. Solutions are less straightforward because companies are looking for a holistic, individualized solution rather than a simple commodity. They want something well laid out for their long-term goals. In addition to higher expectations, analytics is becoming more challenging due to a multitude of factors. The math for fluctuating variables is becoming increasingly too complicated for spreadsheets. Raj suggests the solution of using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help companies orchestrate data in a way that is easier to read. Analytics is the key to obtaining energy goals.
Integrated product portfolio
Constellation used to have a wholesale team and a retail team that were fairly separate, with each tasked to do different things. Now they’ve integrated those teams along with aspects of legal and regulatory teams. By doing this, they have naturally made the process faster and the company more nimble. With integrated teams, Constellation will be better prepared to serve its customers in ways that aren’t available yet. For example, hydrogen is a key area in which customers are very interested. Establishing a flexible, multi-faceted team will ensure that companies’ sustainability goals will be accomplished as quickly as possible.
Resources mentioned in today's episode
Connect with Raj Bazaj
Learn more about Raj Bazaj
Raj manages a team at Constellation that works with a diverse group of customers assisting them in implementing solutions to help address the major shifts going on in the energy industry including sustainability, demand reduction, data analytics, and overall cost optimization.
Raj has worked in the chemical and energy industries across a wide range of roles. He began his career in the chemical industry working with multi-national companies Bayer, Cytec Industries, and American Cyanamid. Roles included R&D, marketing, and sales before being promoted to the Director of Marketing for NAFTA where he also managed the Export and Resale sales channels. Responsibilities included managing the P&L and developing short- and long-term strategy including the production of chemicals manufactured in the U.S for export overseas.
Raj started his energy career with WPS Energy Services (later Integrys) in 2005 as the Managing Director for retail power and gas sales. The business was acquired by Constellation in 2014. Most recently Raj led the effort to develop a multi-year partnership agreement with the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village. The agreement recognizes Constellation as the official energy provider and provides exclusive naming rights for the Constellation Center for Excellence, a key component of the development project underway in Canton, OH.
As a member of the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), Raj has attended Leadership summits at the White House under both the Obama and Trump administrations. The initiative focuses on several key areas including education, career development, business, jobs, immigration, health care, housing, and workforce leadership.
Raj holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona and an Executive MBA from the University of Connecticut.
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