Sustainable Energy Solutions for a Greener Future with Mike Kirkup of EnPowered

In the face of climate change, how can businesses reduce their energy usage, save money, and transition to a more sustainable future?

In this edition of the UpTech Report, we meet with Mike Kirkup. He’s the CTO leading the way at EnPowered, a cleantech electricity platform that helps organizations decrease their energy costs and upgrade to new sustainable energy solutions.

EnPowered is giving businesses the ability to make clean, smart energy choices that are actually good for the environment, without any significant upfront investment in new infrastructure. Their solution allows you to reduce energy costs while reinvesting in green technology at the same time.

The host of UpTech, Alexander Ferguson, is curious to learn more about the Texas power outage last winter, renewable energy, and the best ways to plan for the future. Is it possible to solve the various problems surrounding the current power grid and reduce emissions?

Mike Kirkup is responsible for the entire product organization including design, development, data science, and project management. Mike is a huge supporter of the Waterloo region and startups which is seen through his prior position as the director of Velocity, the University of Waterloo’s world-renowned startup program.

He has also participated in a number of boards including the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation, Golden Triangle Angel Network, and Intrideo. Mike received a Bachelor of Mathematics and Masters of Management Science from the University of Waterloo.

DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!

Mike Kirkup 0:00
The reality is that the technology that’s out there today can reduce energy usage make us greener and cleaner and and help on so many different fronts and yet we’re not adopting it

Alexander Ferguson 0:17
Welcome to UpTech Report. This is our applied tech series. UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of video at Today I’m excited to be joined by my guest, Mike Kirkup based in Kitchener, Ontario, and he’s the CTO of Enpowered. Welcome, Mike good to have you on. I

Mike Kirkup 0:34
I’m really excited to be here, Alex, really excited.

Alexander Ferguson 0:37
Now Enpowered is an on build payment platform, you’re targeting and helping the industrial industry, mining, manufacturing greenhouses, people who use energy, and often the Energy Manager team or finance or facility managers that would use this platform. But I want to start with help me understand, like, what’s the problem that you guys saw in the marketplace and have set out to solve?

Mike Kirkup 0:59
Now ultimately, what we saw in the market is that there’s not fast enough clean tech adoption, like the reality is that the technology that’s out there today, can reduce energy usage make us greener, and cleaner and, and help on so many different fronts. And yet, we’re not adopting it. And so why. And so we thought that it was a function of money, right? The issue was, let’s go out and save people a whole bunch of money, which then they’ll turn around, and they’ll use to be able to ultimately pay for these things. And it turns out that that wasn’t the issue, that it actually was a capital problem. And so what we did is we went out, and we figured out how to make it easier for people to actually start that virtuous cycle of ultimately being able to purchase these assets.

Alexander Ferguson 1:43
When everyone loves the idea, or most people, I would say loves the idea of clean energy and being able to get to renewable energy, but it’s that transition and making it they’re making it happen. If you were to describe them the actual product, the solution you provide. But I have a five year old and sometimes he asked me like, Alright, who are you interviewing dad? Well, you’re talking to people, if you were to talk to my five year old, describe what you do, what would you be telling him?

Mike Kirkup 2:06
Yeah, so the easiest way to describe it, and I have I have children as well. And so I’m a little bit of practice that this is, ultimately what we do is that we allow organizations to save money on their electricity bill by installing solutions that will help them save money. And then we actually charge on that bill so that their bill stays the same as they would have paid is if the savings didn’t exist. And we take the money that they would have had for the savings. And we actually pay down the cost of the solution that they purchased. And so we remove the need for them to have upfront capital, I would never say that to a five year old, they don’t have to come up with any allowance money. But ultimately, give them the opportunity now, because we need to start getting people to save money now, right? I mean, ultimately, you know, we just, when we start looking at the industry, it’s starting to attack those points of friction. And it turns out that this kind of reluctance of just getting started is the biggest thing that we need to tackle.

Alexander Ferguson 3:09
It’s like, no, nobody likes the idea of having to take away money now, in some day get the benefit. Or rather, it can be hard I imagined for these energy teams to get the buy in from leadership, hey, we need to make this capital expense to be able to buy it. So the idea of don’t worry about it, we’ll just everything will stay the same. But we’ll make sure we’re saving the money so that you can take advantage of clean energy. And that was the capital cost that comes along with it. Am I understanding that correctly?

Mike Kirkup 3:35
Absolutely. Right. And so the people who are making these decisions already have an operating budget that allows them to say that’s how much we spend on electricity, they don’t have to go to the board, they don’t have to go to the government, they don’t have to go to anybody to get approval to continue to spend that. Whereas traditionally, if you think the larger the organization, the more challenging it is, they’re going to have to build the level of proposals, the buy in the selling all these other things to ultimately be able to, you know, get that capital allowance internally to be able to purchase some of these things. And so we now can, you know, make it easier for the people who are sitting on the front end who are going to realize the benefits of it, to be able to make those decisions at their level, rather than having to surface all the way to the very top of the organization.

Alexander Ferguson 4:18
I kind of like to come from a different angle, when in these b2b situations were very specific person can only really understand the problem, but translated to more consumer level. I mean, we all use energy and power and there was a experience was it last year the or earlier this year, Texas, where the whole grid basically shut down for a few weeks with that winter storm and that I think some people got because the surging cost of everything got ended up charging 1000s of dollars per day just to keep the lights on their homes and their businesses. Is it really as simple as just the price of power goes up and down and if you just know when to use it and when not to her or is that where savings comes in?

Mike Kirkup 5:00
Yeah, so it’s, that’s that I wish it was that simple. The without, you know, kind of a, and we’re happy to have that conversation if we want to go down the path. But without going into the, you know the basics of how electricity itself works. And then ultimately, the markets that are built around it, the biggest challenge with electricity is it can’t be stored, right? I mean, we can talk about batteries and how they store them. But that’s not really storing electricity, it’s actually a chemical reaction that then can be converted back to electricity, all of the electricity storage solutions today, whether there’s, you know, on grid, or grid style ones, or whatever, are ultimately using some other mechanism to then you know, store it in another way, and then convert it back to electricity at the end, right, that’s what a battery does today. This is, you know, a variety of other kinds of solutions, whether that’s air pressure, water pressure, a variety of other ways to try and store electricity, this is what they do. So if we were run on the premise that electricity is hard to store, and, and so it’s essentially instantly consumed. What happens then is that what we produce has to also then match what the demand is. And this is ultimately what really, really struggled in Texas, was the struggle in Texas, is that the ability to produce electricity went down dramatically, because of the winter storm and significant amount of wind energy production in Texas. They weren’t used to their windmills, or, you know, ultimately freezing. This is a problem we’ve actually solved in Canada.

Alexander Ferguson 6:31
So yeah, there’s actually, I’m just curious, how did you solve it.

Mike Kirkup 6:34
So there’s actually a startup, it’s actually based here in Kitchener Waterloo that actually solves this, they actually if you think of it almost as like an electric heater that it sits inside the rotor, and actually prevents ice buildup, because that’s the issue is it is built up, and then it causes it to bend. Now circle in the same way, like ultimately spin in the same way, because one side is heavier than the other. And then it starts removing,

Alexander Ferguson 6:56
solving every problems around there,

Mike Kirkup 6:59
resolving problems all over the place. So ultimately, how we deal with that problem of electricity is his, you know, cost more at certain times than others is a function of demand. And then also supply. And, and so this is why we all inherently know that there’s, you know, our whether it’s our utility as a consumer, or whatever, has convinced us that the best time to run the dishwasher and to do laundry in everything else is at three o’clock in the morning, because nobody else is using electricity at three o’clock in the morning. Right. And so when we start thinking along those lines, we start to, you know, look at other kind of possible solutions for changing behavior, right. And that’s ultimately what that comes down to. And so there’s different ways, but ultimately, in a lot of deregulated markets, they’ve let the market itself decide when things are going to be expensive. And when they aren’t. And Texas is a great example, probably the ultimate example of a deregulated market for electricity. And so that’s how people were spending literally 1000s of dollars, because the cost of electricity literally skyrocketed, because those people were actually paying wholesale rates.

Alexander Ferguson 8:07
Wow, this is a little bit of a tangent, but I actually have a team member who’s down in South Africa. And they have loadshedding. I think that’s what’s called so it’s like us doesn’t, we don’t do or North America.

Mike Kirkup 8:19
You actually we do we do loadshedding here in North America, other people call it Peak Peak shaving is another term for it. Okay. But yeah, it absolutely happens in a number of different states, Texas, included, but it happens in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, so eastern seaboard primarily. And then it happens also in in a couple of different provinces in Canada, both Ontario and Alberta.

Alexander Ferguson 8:46
I guess I’m partly just curious myself, Will Will that ever change? Like, will the ability with clean energy, other energy solutions eventually won’t have to worry about that? They’re just being nice energy all the time and affordable? Or is that just not the future? No,

Mike Kirkup 8:59
I think in fact, you know, we talked about peak shaving as being something that’s actually really like, you know, it takes manual effort in at times or involves humans. And, you know, we think that it might be expensive, we think that it’s going to be a peek, we think that we want to show like, you know, and shed some load or whatever the case might be, and then people might have to flip switches. And you know, like, the world is still sadly more manual than we’d like to admit. And I think I think what’s happening is, to your point of like, you know, does it go the other direction of, you know, I don’t have to worry about this at all. Well, yes, but not in a way that you think it’s not that it goes away as a problem. It’s that we’re going to embed the solution inside technology. Right. So the building itself will automatically shedload Right? They’ll go

Alexander Ferguson 9:43
and say, I won’t say because I have one but Amazon device, can you please turn on the lights and it will talk back and say actually, I can’t turn on the lights? Because the energy efficiency says no,

Mike Kirkup 9:53
yeah, thankfully, lights are not not typically the expensive part unless we’re talking about greenhouses. But you can imagine like And on those days where it’s really were the greatest is having to supply a significant amount of electricity. And it’s really challenging are those typically those really hot, humid, nasty days, and everybody’s running air conditioners, businesses and consumers, or residential? And it just becomes very, very expensive. And it’s in those kind of times where it’s like, okay, well, I’m sorry, but you’re going to run your, you know, thermostat at, you know, at sorry, instead of, you know, the nice 76 that you’d prefer, for the next few hours until we can get through this right. And so tons of utilities have run programs like this, where they’ll pay you essentially a stipend every year, to have a an actual thermostat that they can control on those really heavy days, again, the equivalent of loadshedding by saying, I’m going to reduce your electricity usage when I need to.

Alexander Ferguson 10:53
Switching back to on the business side. Do they just turn up the thermostats? I mean, when it comes to business, there’s certain things you just can’t do you need to keep running. But maybe there is a way to approach it. I mean, how do you look at with your technology and the way you you

Mike Kirkup 11:08
work with the clients? Yeah, so and this is this is, every single business is a snowflake, right? And to your point, some businesses can, you know, reduce usage, right. So if we think of an office building is a great example, they may decide to reduce the amount of electricity they’re using to cool the building during that time period. Or even better, if they can anticipate that this is what is happening, they’ve actually pre cooled the building, so that they’re now reducing usage during that time period, because they’re not having to run their H fac systems. But if we start looking at manufacturing, mining and a variety of other circumstances, what they may do is they may essentially go off the grid during that time period. So we may think of this as essentially batteries, generators, a variety of other means that they’ll use to essentially stop drawing electricity from the grid and generate their own electricity. And we’re starting to see more and more of that decentralization, right, the installation of solar installation of wind and a variety of other projects are now starting to shift the power supply of where the actual power comes from. And so So this starts to change kind of how the grid itself behaves. And further kind of cements my point of where where we see a going is that as you increase more and more sources of electricity is gonna be more and more times were extracted, the grid is going to say I have too much electricity, right, we have this problem. And in a number of US states, already, Hawaii is quite notable for this, they’ve actually the number of the utilities have actually stopped people from being able to connect their solar to the grid, because it’s generating too much electricity. And so so you can like, it’s not just one directional, right, this problem. So as we as we the the energy landscape continues to shift and change, these problems and challenges will continue to magnify based on it.

Alexander Ferguson 12:54
Even Even my own neighbor, I’m in North Carolina, and they’re really starting to push solar solar panels. And people come by my house and say you want to get your solar panel, it’s it’s that whole shift in mentality both from consumer as well as business. And it’s fascinating to realize both you need power, but too much power, it still comes out to the to the same, but that that switch over makes sense. And I feel like you told me a story before before our chat today about one of your customers is a mining company where they ended up saving a lot of money, and they just told people to sit out and relax for a day or couple hours. What was that? Yeah,

Mike Kirkup 13:27
for the for the few hours that the electricity is, is really expensive for that kind of window, it’s actually much more cost effective for them to actually shut down their operations, pay their staff, and then take a break, take a break and sit on the grass outside the safe like roughly a million dollars,

Alexander Ferguson 13:47
but basically saving millions to tell people to sit on on the lawn and just chill or take a break.

Mike Kirkup 13:51
Yeah, yeah. And but it cost them you know, again, you know, several $100,000 For for that act as well. Right. So this is part of the, you know, the effort that goes into being able to determine when and how to use electricity. And again, it’s why every business is so very different. And, you know, that’s why we built out such an amazing partner network of companies who sell solutions, whether that’s lighting, or H fac, or building automation solutions, or generators, or batteries or whatever. Um, from our perspective, we don’t we’re agnostic, right, we’re saying listen, the reality is we need to build more resiliency in the grid, and we need to build more resiliency into the businesses themselves. We need to be able to give you the opportunity to reduce usage and save money and do all those things in a way that makes your business better solves actual problems, right? It’s not just about saving money. But you know, in so many cases, there’s an actual real, tangible and user element to this, right. Like we were talking to a dairy barn. And, and their problem was, you know, they wanted to save money. It was a whole bunch of other elements, but to them a solution that they were looking at in terms of being able to have a building automation solution was that they were based in a cold climate. And when the doors opened out of a of the fact that they had a brownout or a blackout, that they lost electricity, all the doors would open as a safety mechanism. And in a cold climate, it was brutal. And so that like, they’re like, Yeah, we could do they essentially wanted to fail over that there was essentially think of it as a small battery that that stopped that that from happening. They the fact that they can save money on their electricity bill was secondary to the fact that they could solve the problem of freezing in the middle of winter. Right. So yeah, and I think that’s all part of this. It’s, it’s when we talk about, you know, being able to start to adopt clean tech innovations and technologies and so on, they’re ultimately solving end user problems, right? It’s not as much as it as much as we’d like to think that’s entirely about actually just saving money. The reality is that there’s a motivation for doing this beyond just saving money. And, and now we’re starting to see a huge shift. And I think just generally across businesses, where there’s this recognition that there is money to be saved here, and that that, you know, you know, green, it has multiple connotations. And that’s a great thing. I think the private sector really does need to, to do this. And we think that we are building a critical building block for them to accomplish that goal.

Alexander Ferguson 16:24
So taking a second to dig a bit more into your platform itself. It kind of sounds like you’re playing both a reporting, analyzing feature, as well as almost an advisory feature to say here are solutions you should be looking at, like, can you just deep dive into each of those components a bit more?

Mike Kirkup 16:42
Yeah, absolutely. So we have two parts of our business, we call them programs and payments to programs is us having an understanding of when electricity is expensive, how that works. And then ultimately offering that as a very simple API, or a text or email solution that notifies people that it’s going to be expensive, and that they should do something about it. The API obviously just tells computers, what they should do about it further to my point of kind of automating these things. And we then have essentially gone off and become the experts on all these different programs, how they work, how they operate, how they save money, what customers are good fits, and how much money they can save. And so we offer that through a number of our partners so that when someone’s going out to sell a generator, or battery, or whatever solution, they can say, Okay, well, if you do this, I can save you $400,000 a year, and this is the company who can help me with that, and all those things. That’s one side of the business. And that’s something that we’ve been operating for the past three years, the new part of the business that we just actually launched in October, takes it a step further, where we’ll actually we call payments, we have the ability to actually place the charges directly on the electricity bill, and actually give them the hardware solution upfront, free of any kind of initial capital. And then we’ve arranged partnerships with, you know, our hardware partners, financing partners, and others. So that essentially, it’s a complete solution that allows them to, to get that asset, start saving money, and then pay it off using no savings

Alexander Ferguson 18:10
really for for for parties involved, because you’re not paying the bank, you’re paying the payment system. So really, it’s the person who’s getting the end results you you as the in between a financial person, bank providing the money, and then the person who’s providing the end technology solution to stock price. You’re absolutely right. Interesting. And this concept of of being able to make that happen, is it easy? Like is it a simple like, let’s let’s do

Mike Kirkup 18:42
it. You know, I don’t even think that we knew when we started this, how much pain we were going to take on and that and that. I mean, I say that I say that, as you can tell I have a big smile on my face. I say that because it’s it’s, you know, these types of innovations that start to unlock a huge set of opportunities, right, if we think of what stripe is for, for example, as another kind of payments platform was able to do for the Internet in terms of being able to make it easy for people to take credit cards, no matter where they were, no matter what country they were in all these other types of things. They removed a whole bunch of that complexity. And we’re doing exactly the same thing, but on the electricity side. And so we have to integrate with utilities, we have to get licensed we’re at literally the intersection of two of the most heavily regulated markets in the world energy and finance. And, and, you know, being able to consolidate all of that knowledge and awareness into a simple, easy to use platform is what’s going to now be able to unlock this huge wave of innovation that I think we desperately need, because the partners who are great at selling generators don’t have to be experts in doing that. You know, the utilities are excited to be able to again see that reduction in usage and have you know, more people participating in some of the different programs. And then ultimately the customers are saving Money and solving end user problems. It’s a win across the board.

Unknown Speaker 20:05
Everyone likes a win win, win, win. That’s

Mike Kirkup 20:09
like, four or five wins. Exactly. And, I mean, we make the joke a lot of the times about the fact that this is clearly has to be made by a Canadian company, because, you know, not just because we’re really nice and competitive and all those things. But you know, we go and seek out that kind of win across the board. Right? And and the reality is, we’re going to going to be able to unleash a lot of this innovation because we’ve we’ve done the heavy lifting to make sure that this works across the board for everybody.

Alexander Ferguson 20:40
I am actually Canadian myself. So it’s unlike Yes, Go Canada, let’s make everyone happy. And no, no competition. Everyone wins this. Are you seeing adoption? Like, are people ready to to do this? Because if they’re if I think at the energy teams, or the facility managers or CFOs, in these industrials environments is it is an easy process for them to say I see it, I get it, let me install it. Let’s go for it.

Mike Kirkup 21:10
Yeah, so what we did is we’ve actually gone back to our partner network, right? So you, let’s pick on anybody who sells some sort of energy solution. And let’s say that, you know, every year they do 100 proposals, and they close about 10%, that’s about the average, in the industry, let’s like 90% of their proposals are sitting there on a shelf, right? And we said, Okay, we want to go back to those 90%, because I’m willing to bet you that the majority of them didn’t do it, because it was this issue with upfront capital. Right. And if we can give them a streamlined solution, we’re going to be able to go in, and ultimately, for these hardware solution, or hardware partners, or energy solution providers, give them the opportunity to triple or double their sales letter, extremely compelling to them, for the customer, the ability to be able to actually start to realize the solutions to savings, the benefits, everything without offering capital is extremely compelling. And

Alexander Ferguson 22:04
your business models really beat a b2b. Like you’re you’re getting most of your sales through these hardware and energy solution providers.

Mike Kirkup 22:12
Absolutely, yeah. And we don’t want to be the experts in selling the the actual solutions themselves, as I mentioned, it’s it really is every business is very different. And so their needs are different. And there’s many, many companies who have that kind of expertise. And so we rely on our partner network, to be able to bring that expertise and say, Okay, well, like no, if you want a generator than we think this generator is best. That’s not, that’s not our area of focus. But But bringing together all of those parties the same as the company’s providing the financing, you know, if you individually had to go source your own financing, that’s challenging, right? So we set it up so that they already know how this works. They know how we operate, they know all the pieces. And so they essentially will, more or less pre approve a lot of the financing until we get down to the last draws. And then they’ll look at kind of all the details. So it just streamlines the process for everybody and makes it just that much easier to ultimately close a deal.

Alexander Ferguson 23:08
But a lovely process to avail. Describe the the partner network. Is that like, how are you growing that if, for instance, anyone’s listening to this, this episode right here that has a product or energy solution? What does that process look like to be growing that network? Yeah,

Mike Kirkup 23:27
so it’s actually really easy. So they can reach out on our website get enpowered, calm, and what we do is we’ll sit them down with one of our salespeople, they’ll talk through kind of how they work and how they operate, and how we might be able to help them and then will actually go hand in hand with their customers. So they’ll send us you know, here’s an opportunity with one of our customers will actually pull together a proposal for what that would look like, and then we send it back. And then they can take that and sell it with their customer. And then obviously, we’re there to support them through the sales process, if they have questions or any issues. And then they’re like, Hey, we close the deal. And then that’s when we start to actually meet the customer. And so will we actually build a relationship with the customer directly to be like, Hey, we’re gonna put charges on your electricity bill, do you understand this? They’re like, yes, we’re super excited about you know, getting our new generator or whatever the case might be battery or whatever and, and then ultimately, have that relationship every month, as we placed the charges on their electricity bill and and send them statements and so on.

Alexander Ferguson 24:23
Switching the conversation again, a little bit to this. You mentioned people are looking for this because it’s solving a problem, not just reducing money, but do you see that like, people care about renewable energy, sustainable energy care about climate change when it comes to the business world? Or is that kind of a, a nice side effect a cherry on top?

Mike Kirkup 24:44
Alright, so I would say that, you know, a broad brush. It’s difficult to say, you know, some organizations are definitely more motivated than others. I think the biggest place where we’ve seen the largest change in the past year or two is in public institutions. universities, colleges, governments, others, you know, and these are places that have a lot of buildings, right? They have large, potentially large energy footprint and so on. And they’re now going, okay, like we need to invest, we need to start to make this conversion, we’re being held to, you know, accountable to net zero or a variety of other kind of climate related goals. And you’re starting to see pledges even, at least. Right, exactly. So you’re starting to see forcing functions across different parts of the world, Blackrock more into the into the private organizations. But again, top down going, you know, we need are the companies that we’ve invested in to, to start taking this more seriously. And so you’re seeing that motivation that shift, where we’re kind of breaks as you see it a large organizations, you see more and more of this happening there, that that kind of small to medium business level, you know, there, they just don’t have the same level of, you know, just the way that the pressure points operate for them are different. And so they’re traditionally doing it again, back to my point of just we have our own internal problem to solve. And, you know, the fact that we’re going to save electricity and save money, and you know, it’s better for everybody is great, right? So really is a cherry on top,

Alexander Ferguson 26:18
it is the cherry on top, and I appreciate your points like that, from the public in the top down, there’s definitely more interest but for like a mid market, or definitely small business, it’s like I don’t I have no time for this or energy and mindset, that or money to put towards it.

Mike Kirkup 26:30
Yeah. One and and then again, you know, we really look at some of the key challenges, right, like LED lighting has been around for a very long time, the fact that we’ve proven consistently that it can save you a lot of money on your electricity bill is well past the point of needing to be proved. And yet we still have tons of businesses that are operating without LED lights, right? And so there has to be a reason, right? And so we can look at capital as one of the reasons right, and we’re solving that problem. But the other is that if if you run a business, whatever that business is, and someone comes in and says, I want to sell you new lights, you’re like, how do I how do I know that you know what you’re doing? How do I know that you’re the one I should work with, and then for other people all come in and essentially say the same thing, but with slight variations. And you’re like, not only was I not motivated initially to start this process, right? Like I didn’t wake up and be like, you know, what we should do today is install new lights. The other side is it’s really hard to understand who ultimately is going to to be the right vendor for me, and how do I pick them and all those other types of things when there’s a lot of kind of competing knowledge and an expertise, right. And, and when we start to think about how the solution inadvertently solves that problem, it becomes even more compelling. And what I mean by that is that if I say listen, I’m going to save you money on your lights, and I’m going to use that money that I’m saving to pay it down. If you don’t save any money, then you don’t pay it down. Right. And so now it’s like now we have alignment, right? It’s not you came in you installed lights, you left and now it’s my problem. It’s like this is exciting, you’re coming in, you’re installing lights, you’re solving a problem, you’re going to save me money, and then those savings are actually going to materialize. And I’m going to use them to pay down financing. That’s really compelling that we have the same alignment in terms of the goals. And so in fact, some of our financing partners will actually do that not as a as a kind of a leasing arrangement where some traditional monthly payment will actually go so far as to almost offer that as a service. And they’ll say we’re providing the lightning to you right lighting as a whole thing, not just the specific hardware will maintain it will look after it and we will only get paid if there is actual savings. And so there’s a number of financing leading edge financing companies that have shifted to this model, precisely because it offers so much value to the customer and differentiates them.

Alexander Ferguson 28:51
Lighting as a service last. newsstands.

Mike Kirkup 28:54
That’s right. Here. Let

Alexander Ferguson 28:56
me show you my last. It’s fascinating concept, though, of just where we’re going with everything can win now, aren’t you? Are you interested in in clean tech is this like, why did you get into this? Why did you become a CTF?

Mike Kirkup 29:10
Yeah, it’s a great question. Um, so I joined the company a little over a year ago, and my driving force was I go to I want to work at a company that has great people. I mean, ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s that mixture of being able to work with really great people. And I was just absolutely wowed by the culture, that Thomas, the CEO and the team had built it enpowered. I can get passionate about just about any market, I’ve had a varied career. And and so for me the fact that we were going to be able to have a tangible impact on the environment and the economy and all those other things was was a wonderful kind of addition and an opportunity. And it’s certainly you know, for a number of our staff, it’s a it’s a it’s a really big motivator for them. But you know, I I get really excited about the opportunity to solve problems.

Alexander Ferguson 30:03
If you were to make a prediction, like, surrounding school abroad, let’s go to the climate change renewable energy really, and what the future is going to look like. What would you share? And also how will empower be part of this?

Mike Kirkup 30:18
Yeah, I think what we’re gonna see is is ironic that we’re gonna see this kind of increased amount of kind of chatter and activity and movement and everything else. And that the pace of that is going to increase pretty substantially. We’re seeing a lot of factors that are going to drive change, which is fantastic. I think we’re, we’re overdue on a number of different pieces. I think like everything that happens with change, it’s not all going to be rosy, there’s going to be some growth spots, we’re going to hit along the way. But what I actually eventually imagine is that it’s going to be invisible to most people, like the the, you know, the assets that use electricity, whether buildings, houses, individual, you know, pieces inside, you know, even those facilities, etc, will all just start to, to be able to manage themselves more and more effectively. And this has arguably been the promise of the Internet of Things for, you know, well over a decade. And and, you know, I think, you know, what we’re starting to see is that we’re, we’re offering the intelligence to those internet of things as to when and what they should be doing. Right. It was great that we could instrument everything, it was great that we could control everything. It’s not like, we know what do we want to tell it to do? And so we’re really excited by the kind of premise and promise of what I can bring.

Alexander Ferguson 31:41
Mike, I really appreciate you sharing this change or relic rather, how easy it can be to adopt new solutions, clean energy solutions, or new hardware or energy solutions to to help different businesses and where you guys are going. For those that want to learn more whether you’re wanting to be part of their partner network or just want to explore the more you can get go to That’s get Thanks again, Mike. It was great having you on.

Mike Kirkup 32:13
Yeah. My pleasure, Alex. Thanks again.

Alexander Ferguson 32:15
And we’ll see you all on the next episode of UpTech Report. Have you seen a company using AI machine learning or other technology to transform the way we live, work and do business? Go to UpTech and let us know


YouTube | LinkedIn | Twitter| Podcast

Workplace Collaboration & Data-Driven Driven Decision Making with Dave Landa of Kintone

Automated Recruitment Using Artificial Intelligence with Omer Molad of Vervoe