Smart Energy Voices- Episode 58

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 58

The Role of Customer Choice in Decarbonization Strategies, with Rob Gaudette 

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This episode is made in partnership with NRG. In this episode of Smart Energy Voices, host John Failla is joined by Rob Gaudette, Senior Vice President of NRG Business for a discussion on the increased pressure large power users are experiencing to meet aggressive emission reduction targets. Listen in as they dive into the dynamics of this changing landscape.


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

  • Rob’s role at NRG [01:51]
  • NRG Business in 2022 [04:58]
  • Driving the customer experience [10:16]
  • The growing interest in customer choice [15:36]
  • NRG’s response to changing needs [20:58]
  • Customer success in energy [26:52]
  • Rob’s career path [30:41]
  • The influence of Rob’s military background [33:38]
  • What’s to come for the energy industry [43:29]

NRG helping companies reach energy goals

NRG is the largest B2B retail gas and power platform in North America and one of the three largest demand response providers.The company develops energy solutions that help businesses become more knowledgeable, effective, and efficient energy customers. Simply put, NRG helps industries of all kinds in the U.S. and Canada reach their energy goals. 

NRG offers a simplified approach to renewable energy, helping its customers gain budget security through fixed-price contracts. NRG also helps them achieve energy flexibility an important price strategy goal  with distributed energy and demand response. Rob’s team provides market expertise to help businesses manage their energy strategy, helping customers reach their sustainability goals and navigate the challenge of the ever-evolving energy industry.

Managing data

Many of NRG’s customers are evolving from smart energy managers to smart data managers. More customers want real-time access to their information, using this knowledge to better understand their energy usage in the context of other marketplace data and trends around them.NRG’s operating platform is the central nervous system that collects that data and powers the analytics that help support the customers, making them more effective in their operations across the spectrum of NRG.

Through their operating system, NRG can track trends from the individual business level up to an extensive network level. For example, they can view one customer's usage in terms of how they are being affected, as well as their effect on a region or specific industry. NRG uses this information to make decisions that benefit its customers and delivers insights that help them make informed decisions in the future.

Customer Choice

Two significant societal drivers are pushing the evolution of customer choice. The first is digital. People are now used to a digital-enabled lifestyle that never could have been imagined possible years ago. Technology has helped customers become more knowledgeable about their energy usage and options. The engaged energy customer wants a partner who’s constantly thinking about and tailoring their energy experience, so these partners need to accelerate their efforts to move with needs of the customer.

The second trend is the overarching need to decarbonize energy use. Both society and industry have a role in  decarbonizing to address climate change. Energy is a massive component of decarbonization inside the economy. Renewable energy is the most visible way to decarbonize and has become more affordable and accessible than ever before. Prices are expected to continue to decrease and customer choice will continue to grow.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Rob Gaudette

Robert Gaudette is Senior Vice President of NRG Business, where he manages the largest B2B retail gas and power platform and the top three largest provider of demand response in North America – overseeing market leading products and services, including renewable energy acquisition strategy and private load management programs. Leading an organization of energy professionals, Gaudette orchestrates business and corporate marketing, product development, origination, structuring, negotiation, and implementation of energy solutions that are designed to meet the growing needs of business customers of any size. 

Gaudette and his team provide market expertise and help regional and national. customers manage their energy strategy and manage customer relationships from acquisition through execution and retention. Partnering with customers, Gaudette and his team increase efficiencies, reduce costs and manage risks—creating a more sustainable, resilient, affordable and empowering energy ecosystem for NRG customers. 

Prior to joining NRG, Gaudette served as Chief Commercial Officer at GenOn Energy. Previous to GenOn, he was Vice President of Mirant's Mid-Atlantic business unit in Washington, D.C. During his career at Mirant, Gaudette worked in various other capacities including Director of West Power, Director of NYMEX Trading, Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer and NYMEX trader. He began his career at Mirant in 2001 as a Trading Analyst. 

Earlier, Gaudette served four years as an army combat engineer officer in the U.S. Cavalry, including a one-year deployment to Bosnia. Before leaving military service for business school in 1999, he served as the executive officer of a combat engineer company in the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment. 

Gaudette earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from The College of William and Mary and Master of Business Administration from Rice University. 

He is a board member of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. Gaudette serves on the Board of Advisors for the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. He is also a board member at St. Agnes Academy and the Children’s Museum of Houston. In addition, Gaudette serves on the regional economic development committee of the Greater Houston Partnership.

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