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EMAIL INTERVIEW - Phil Baltazar & Ken Sinclair
I Will Energy
Coming from the residential solar industry first with REC Solar and then starting his own company, OCeanview Solar, Phil Baltazar built a prospective of the energy business through thousands of individual conversations with end‐users interested in simply reducing their electric bill. While working on behalf of his customers with their utility Phil received the first exposure to the Smart Grid movement and immediately realized the opportunity to bridge the gap between Smart Grid utility initiatives and the end‐users or customers. iWill Energy was born and is currently employing Smart home devices to bring the promise of the Smart Grid to homeowners. The Young Energy Network has provided several opportunities at the nation's leading conference to learn and meet leaders of the industry. Phil now has the opportunity to give back and promote Young Energy as an organizer of The Young Energy Network's track sessions at ConnectivityWeek'10.
Young Energy @ ConnectivityWeek'10
The Young Energy Network is a group for Young professionals and students who are either working in or aspire to work in the "Smart" energy industry. Our main focus is educating our members through industry events like ConnectivityWeek.
Sinclair: What is the purpose of Young Energy and why is ConnectivityWeek an important event for the group?
Baltazar: The Young Energy Network is a group for Young professionals and students who are either working in or aspire to work in the "Smart" energy industry. Our main focus is educating our members through industry events like ConnectivityWeek. By offering real world exposure to the problems, people and solutions Young Energy members receive a learning experience that cannot be replaced by University classes or reading newsletters. ConnectivityWeek is a very special conference for us because of the enormous number of speakers and topics from which to choose. If you are interested in some topic encompassed in the Smart Grid chances are you can hear an expert talk about it there.
Sinclair: Does Young Energy have anything special planned for its members at ConnectivityWeek?
Baltazar: Yes, we do. This year we have been invited to participate in the event by planning a day track that address important topics for people beginning their career in the Smart Grid. Jobs, certifications specific to the industry and education tracks are a few items we'll be addressing.
Sinclair: How does the Young Energy Network raise the money needed to offer these education opportunities?
Baltazar: We have begun actively seeking scholarships from companies involved in the Smart Grid industry. Generally there is an understanding by companies that new people will have to be brought into the industry to replace retiring boomers and tackle new issues never experienced by the energy industry. Conferences are like a fast track for newcomers to learn about and meet industry insiders and some leading companies value that.
Sinclair: How does a person become a Young Energy member and how do members receive a conference scholarship?
Baltazar: It is really a straight forward process. All a person needs to do to get involved is go to YoungEnergy.org and create an account for themself. As conference scholarship opportunities arise our members are informed through the site and applications can be submitted. We review all applications and award as many scholarships as is possible.
Sinclair: What is the most valuable information you have received from attending conferences, and why do you think this is important for companies to support Young Energy members in attending a conference like ConnectivityWeek?
Baltazar: First the scope of the problem amazes me. The average person takes for granted electricity. It's just not on their radar. They plug everything in and everything works. For me it's like sending messages and paying bills before the Internet changed that. The average person never considered a different more effective, safer, more efficient, cheaper way for sending messages and paying bills. If we let it the Smart Grid has the potential to change our world more than the Internet has because energy has a tangible valuable greater than that of communication.
I think that should be important to companies because just like the Internet there are new business models that could never have been seen before the Smart Grid and the path of success will likely be forged by people who do not understand the accepted limitations held by established experts.
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