Seattle City (spot)Light: Colm Otten, Solutions Design & Management Program Manager

The Basics
Years of Service: Four and a half
Division: Customer Care & Energy Solutions
Role: My main focus has been on designing and implementing two programs aimed at our large commercial customers. Pay for Performance is a program where we pay customers incentives based on how much energy they save. Energy Efficiency as a Service is a pilot program where City Light quantifies the value of savings every month for participating buildings and allows those customers to pay for efficiency upgrades to their facilities on their bill using the value of the savings. In other words, City Light keeps those customers’ bills steady over time and pays the responsible service providers for their savings with the value. Both programs were designed in partnership with multiple stakeholders (building owners, property managers, energy service companies, environmental groups, unions, financing groups, etc.) and have allowed us to be leaders in this field. 

Background
Hometown:
Antwerp, Belgium
Alma Mater: University KU Leuven (Belgium) and Jefferson University (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Discipline/Trade of Study: I have a degree in electro-mechanical engineering from the University KU Leuven and sustainable design from Jefferson University.
Tell us about your family: My wife, Adrienne, and I have two sons, Gavin (8) and Ronan (3). Gavin wants to be an exo-geologist when he grows up, and Ronan wants to be a cat. 

“My colleagues are a joy to work with, and I miss hanging out with them in person. I also love being able to work with the best professionals in the field of measurement, verification, and building science.”

Just for Fun
Where do you live and what’s something you love about the area?
We live at the very north end of Seattle, where we’ve sheltered from the pandemic much of the last year, slowly working on our house and yard. We also love being a relatively short drive away from the North Cascades; it’s one of our favorite areas to hike and explore. In pre-COVID times we also enjoyed going to Crest movie theater for special family movie treats.

What are some of your favorite activities/hobbies? I love being outdoors, so if I can choose how to spend my time, I want to hike, snowboard, or scuba dive and feel close to nature. 

What is your favorite local activity? Snorkeling gear, a good hammock, and a box set of classic sci-fi novels.

What brought/attracted you to City Light? I wanted to work in the sustainability field to make the world a better place for my (and other) kids. City Light’s vision and goals really spoke to me when I was looking for a new opportunity. Working in the solutions design and management group has been very rewarding and an absolute joy.