Energy & Utilities

Build a Future-Proofed Utility

Technological advancement, policy shifts and climate change are interrelated megatrends that will shape the future of the utility. Infrastructure managers - namely utilities - across the US are all preparing for what could be a much different role in coming years and decades without sacrificing safety and reliability for their customers.

While infrastructure naturally lags behind technological advancement, utility business models face increasing risksーand rising costs of inaction.

A “future-proofed” utility is not just forward-thinking but nimble, duly able to operate and maintain state-of-the-art infrastructure reliably while evaluating and adopting new technologies on the fly. Couple this discipline with a process for opening new revenue generation opportunitiesーlike technology spin-outsーand you curate a lasting immunity from market and policy threats.

What We Offer

“Spin-in” ProblemSpace Challenges

“Spin-out” Monetizing Innovation

Resilience Strategy and Bespoke Consulting

Cleantech Market Opportunity Scans

ADL Energy & Utilities Leadership

Chris Richardson

Chris Richardson

Chris wears a CMO hat with ADL Ventures and leads its energy and utilities practice. A serial entrepreneur, Chris previously worked in energy and transportation strategy consulting and helped launch the product marketing function at EnerNOC (now Enel X), where he was responsible for demand response and energy supply procurement. Chris has an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and an MBA (with honors) from the University of Chicago (Booth).

Jeff McAulay


Jeff is an applied technologist with a track record of new product development in multiple startup companies and larger established businesses. Most recently he launched solar and storage partnerships at EnerNOC. Prior to EnerNOC he co-founded the Fraunhofer TechBridge program to accelerate commercialization of cleantech startups. Jeff has technical degrees from MIT and Boston University.

Ben Silton


Ben is a data and analytics specialist focused on finding efficient ways to make our economy cleaner. Previously, Ben launched the analytics and customer success programs at Divert, a startup tackling retail food waste through an innovative IoT platform and anaerobic digestion. Ben has a joint bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

Thought leadership

Mitigating the Impacts of Power Shutoffs through Building–Grid Integration

Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) have become a brute-force – and effective – way to mitigate the risk of wildfires for utilities in California. However, forced power outages are a last resort for a reason – not only do they create problems for utility customers, but they can represent millions of dollars in lost revenues for electric utilities…every hour!

As Hard as It Gets: Utility Hardening Efforts Under the Threat of Climate Change

At the current pace, it would take over 300 years to sufficiently harden the US electricity grid. As the climate changes and weather risks accelerate, it’s time to harden the grid faster and better. We need to do better than deploying more field workers for inspection and repair; we must deploy a suite of novel technologies that can scalably protect…

Biomimicry in Our Electrical Grid

The traditional hub-and-spoke model of our electrical grid, much like the human body’s circulatory system, is subject to operational issues and rising costs as it ages. Grid-level issues such as outages and grid-borne wildfires exacerbate the costs associated with maintaining poles and wires. As private entities continue to invest more in private generation and storage technologies, customer contributions to the electric utility’s pot of money for grid upkeep (and expansion) are at risk.

An Actionable Roadmap for Utility Self-Disruption

If you are a decision maker in the power sector, you have probably been grappling with a whirlwind of perspectives on the disruption of the regulated utility business model. Undeniably, the convergence of innovations such as distributed energy resources, demand-side management, and information technology has introduced a pace of change recently unimaginable in this historically slow-moving industry.

How the Innovation Community Can Answer the “If Only” Call of Electric Utilities

While reliability is the name of the game for electric utilities, thoughtful utilities often ponder the feats they could accomplish “if only we could…” While some startups are looking to disrupt centralized grid-connected power generation, many others are eager to partner with forward-thinking utilities.

A Meta-Analysis of the My Climate Journey Podcast

The 100+ climate-focused interviews chronicled in Jason Jacobs’ My Climate Journey (MCJ) podcast represent a trove of insights from technologists, entrepreneurs, impact investors, accelerators, and policy makers. ADL Ventures sees MCJ as a large scale Voice of the Customer study on the challenges and barriers the climate community faces today. ADL has conducted a robust analysis of over 300 “wishes” outlined by Jason’s interviewees and outlined five major emerging themes.