Farid Dibachi, CEO and founder of JLM Energy, is a visionary motivated by impacting behavioral change. He is passionate about changing the way we acquire and use power. He believes it is time that more Americans understand there is a better way to address our insatiable appetite for electricity.

Mr. Dibachi is a successful entrepreneur who previously founded technology companies Arzoon and Diba. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Additionally, Mr. Dibachi holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Mr. Dibachi has said he considers himself “first, a citizen of the world and second, an American, and third, an Iranian whose native country has been perpetually and permanently scarred by conflict brought upon its people because of its rich fossil fuel resources.”

Vishal Sapru (VS), Research Manager for Energy & Power Systems Group had an opportunity to conduct a Movers & Shakers interview with Farid Dibachi (FD), CEO and Founder of JLM Energy.

VS: Can you start by providing our readers a brief overview of JLM Energy including the vision behind its formation and its current role in the market?

FD: JLM Energy designs energy storage solutions that combine solar power with energy storage to create efficiencies and savings. It is time to transform the way we get our energy. Customers want more choice and control. We provide that.

VS: Please describe your product/technology/solution for our readers?

FD: JLM Energy specializes in energy technology: Renewable Energy Generation, Energy Storage and Energy Use Optimization Software.

JLM Energy, Inc. offers a full portfolio of advanced energy solutions including smart energy storage systems that are designed to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy expenditure for our customers. We are focused on combining solar and energy storage without a significant loss in efficiency. It is a winning combination.

VS: What are JLM Energy’s greatest challenge and what strategy is in place to overcome it?

FD: Scaling and managing the rapid growth we anticipate within the next few years is our biggest challenge. The overall industry is anticipated to have explosive growth in the next six years as more and more states add demand charges or do away with net metering for solar customers. We will address this by accurately scaling our business model and supply chain.

VS: What is the unique value proposition of JLM Energy and what are your key competitive differentiators?

FD: We have created a new solar plus energy storage technology that save money and gives our customers choice and control over utility costs. This technology enables consumers to move away from the 19th Century centralized energy generation model. Consumers and businesses can now generate their own energy and manage it independently. The technology also enables individuals to make small lifestyle changes like what time of the day is optimal to run the dishwasher or run a load of laundry – that can save energy and money!

VS: What is your strategy in regards to offering best value to customer for the price, compared to similar offerings from competitors? if any?

FD: We are focused on total cost of ownership. Our product provides more value and longer life because we have developed a proprietary method, called Symmetrical DC Regulation. This solar plus energy storage system is more efficient than anything else on the market. Here is how it works: we use a 400-volt battery that connects directly to solar. From batteries we go directly to the inverter. The portion of the energy that needs to be used real-time goes directly to the home or business, through the inverter, bypassing the batteries. This increases the life of the system because it avoids unnecessarily cycling the battery.

Only a fraction of the energy goes through our batteries, so we end up with a significantly more efficient system, with 87% overall efficiency, our closest competitor is about 20% less efficient.

VS: Continued innovation is the key to success in this growing industry. How is the process of innovation managed at JLM Energy?

FD: Innovation is at the foundation of JLM Energy. In short, it is a customer-centric methodology. We manage the innovation process by listening to our customers, working with Utilities and regulators and distilling the market demands to technology pieces that are needed to fulfill the customer demands. Our team is made up of about 60 people, half of whom are engineers. We design every aspect of our products from inception all the way through to installation and service.

VS: What do you want the company to accomplish in the next couple of years and how would you define success for JLM Energy?

FD: Success for JLM constitutes:

Happy customers that are clearly saving money with our products
Developing JLM’s brand as a national and global brand that is associated with innovation and customer commitment
Happy employees that continue to dedicate themselves to causes that are important to our customers.

VS: What is your key value proposition that provides your firm a major competitive advantage over other players in the industry?

FD: We are dedicated to delivering innovative energy solutions that are created with intention to provide customers with more control, reduce the energy expenditure and footprint of our customers. Our technology is more advanced, and more efficient than the competition. That is what sets us apart.

In addition with not only design and develop our technology but we have our own field operations team that installs and maintains our systems and as a consequence stay close to customers.

VS: Could you elaborate on the acceptance or adoption of your product / technology / solution in the marketplace and are there any positive client testimonials that can be shared with us?

FD: We have installed more than 100 systems. The market is still in the early adopter phase, however, utilities are purchasing and installing our residential product, Energizr 200 in homes to better understand the impact of residential behind-the-meter energy storage on the utility’s grid and the customers’ monthly bill. This is important as more utilities throughout the nation explore various approaches to Net Energy Metering. In addition to energy storage, JLM Energy’s Energizr 200 product ecosystem enables utilities to deploy smart thermostats and execute demand response strategies using load controllers.

VS: Do you foresee the acceptance of your product/technology/solution in the marketplace to have an influence on the direction of the overall market going forward?

FD:  Yes. We intend to be a market leader because we are already producing and selling product. Some of our competitors are only talking about it. Market dynamics are in our favor because the conventional power grid is undergoing a transformation from centralized to locally generated electricity. This transition is being driven by improved energy efficiency, plentiful renewable energy, and enhanced energy storage.

The energy industry is going through the same dramatic change today that the computing industry went through 35 years ago. Within a few years, mainframe computing gave way to personal computers. Similarly, today, we are moving from the centralized energy generation model to self-generation. Consumers and businesses can now generate their own energy and manage it independently. At JLM we develop technology products that serve as catalysts for this metamorphosis. It is an exciting time to be bringing a multi-disciplinary group of technologists together to design and deliver products and solutions for our customers’ energy needs.

VS: As a general conclusion, what do you think the future holds for such solutions and, more specifically, what role can we expect JLM energy to play in shaping the future of the industry?

FD: JLM Energy will be a market leader. Energy storage combined with solar is the cutting edge of renewable energy and it is where the market is headed. This is important in areas where net energy metering has gone away. With our products, you can use what you need to power your home immediately and save the rest to use later. Our smart energy management system with intuitive software makes it possible to rely on stored energy during peak times to control electric bills.

Grid Resilience is increasingly important. The federal government and utilities have a huge focus on resiliency because of extreme weather and the potential of sinister attacks. Energy storage can help level loads and improve system stability. Battery storage can reduce the amount of generating capacity required to supply customers at times of high energy demand, or peak load periods. This is extremely important given aggressive DER benchmarks established on a state-by-state basis.

VS: What are your company’s marketing and product positioning strategies? Do you plan to form any strategic alliances with other client companies?

FD: JLM Energy is currently going direct to consumer with our residential energy storage product. We have an immediate emphasis on California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii – states where regulators are changing the rules and tariffs on solar customers. We are also interested in states that have aggressive benchmarks for adding Distributed Energy Resources to the grid. Businesses and home owners in these states will have an interest in our solutions.

We have strategic partnerships with companies including Fronius, our inverter manufacturer, and Petersen Dean, one of the largest solar contractors in the nation. We are always open to forming new business relationships.

VS: What is unique about your company in regards to offering the best and differentiated service experience to customers?

FD: Our products help people visualize the impact of their energy use. Once consumers are aware of habits they can make small lifestyle changes that will significantly reduce utility charges. In addition to energy storage, JLM Energy’s residential solution, Energizr 200 product ecosystem works in harmony with smart thermostats and smart appliances.

VS: Please describe the importance and focus of your company towards building and strengthening the brand equity of your offering?

FD: To drive success, we manage all aspects of technology development from inception through installation and service.

VS: What kind of customer feedback mechanism do you have in place to ensure that the product development and innovation matches market and customer needs?

FD: Our customers interact with their JLM systems through our Measurz platform. Measurz is a web-based software system that provides second-by-second information about energy usage, energy generation and the relative use of energy storage. The customer’s employees, in addition to JLM’s system analysts are continually observing the system behavior and learning about how to improve our systems. In addition, we use this information to make recommendations to our customers on how to optimize their use of electricity.

VS: How do you compare yourself with top competitors in regards to offering Best-in-Class solution, with a full complement of features and functionality?

FD: JLM Energy’s strength is in our proprietary method of combining solar and energy storage technology. This is called Symmetrical DC Regulation or SDCR. SDCRis the reason our systems are the most efficient and most cost-effective.

VS: What is/are unique features of your product/technology that address unmet customer needs and competitors are unable to replicate and replace?

FD: Symmetric DC Regulation is a patent-pending technology that may not be replicated by the customers. This technology combines solar and storage more effectively than any other system in the marketplace.

We are one of the only companies that applies our solutions to both the C&I and residential market. Our technology helps home and business owners track real-time energy use, how much they are buying from the utility and how much energy their solar is providing. Our products store excess solar production generated during the day in batteries so that it can be automatically deployed during times of peak demand – even during hours with no sunlight.

JLM’s cloud-based proprietary software platform, Measurz, acts behind-the-scenes to meet a monthly budget set by the homeowner.

Measurz software analyzes user habits to come up with efficiency recommendations. The mobile app enables remote control of appliances including HVAC systems and smart thermostats that often cost the most to run. This leads to more informed energy use decisions and immediate cost savings.

VS: What is your key value proposition that provides your firm a major competitive advantage over other players in the industry?

FD: We are dedicated to delivering innovative energy solutions that are created with intention to provide customers with more control, reduce the energy expenditure and footprint of our customers. Our technology is more advanced, and more efficient than the competition. That is what sets us apart.

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