Ecova Turns 20: Industry Pioneers Since 1997

Lauren Kirkley, Chief Business Performance Officer

The energy landscape today is dynamic and ever-changing, with new technologies and consumer priorities emerging daily. It’s nearly unrecognizable from the state of the industry twenty years ago, when a group of visionary employees in Spokane saw an opportunity to pioneer utility-sponsored energy management. This small but mighty organization evolved over the past two decades into what is now ENGIE Insight: a global energy and sustainability management company that proudly carries on our founders’ tradition of driving industry innovation.

ENGIE Insight began with a series of conversations between 17 industrial and commercial experts at Washington Water Power (WWP) as they prepared to respond to the deregulation of electrical energy. These employees were stunned at how little insight the utility’s customers had into their own energy consumption—while they knew how much they spent each year, they had no way of identifying how much they used or what opportunities existed for greater efficiency. The WWP staff had a vision to leverage the birth of the internet to proactively prepare for utility deregulation, creating a business that would help customers nationwide take charge of their energy usage. With that, WWP Energy Solutions was born.

The company’s early work might seem simplistic to us now, but twenty years ago, it was revolutionary. Customers were able to see how much they were spending on energy, gain true visibility into energy data, and receive customized reports tracking the metrics they cared most about. The industry’s newness made this a high-risk venture—many customers still struggled to understand the internet, let alone the importance of smarter energy management. Securing funding for the endeavor each month remained uncertain. Yet WWP Energy Solutions’ innovative offerings and data-driven tools paid off and proved the demand for these services in the market place. In just 18 months, the company grew from 25 staff to 150.

Since these formative years, ENGIE Insight has evolved at a staggering rate—pioneering new solutions at every turn. We’ve transformed as new companies, talent and product offerings have been integrated into our current structure, from the industry-leading energy efficiency work of Ecos Consulting to Retroficiency’s nationally recognized efficiency analytics to the international presence and resources of our parent company, ENGIE. We now have nearly 1,500 employees across North America and Europe, serving more than 800 commercial and industrial clients and nurturing partnerships with nearly 60 utilities and nonprofit organizations. And we are still pioneers—proactively shaping the new energy future through data-driven services that deliver powerful results. Ecova is here today because of the people whose innovation sparked an entire industry two decades ago. We’re honored to carry their legacy forward in the years to come.

Celebrate two decades of innovation in the energy industry by watching our 20th anniversary video and checking our website often for more flashbacks into ENGIE Insight’s history.

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