GOODCo Finalists: For a Cleaner Future, Three Firms Build a Smarter Grid

These three GOOD Company finalists are making our electrical infrastructure smarter.

The energy economy of the 21st century demands an innovative energy grid. Right now, power comes to your house on what amounts to an inefficient one-way track. By upgrading the grid with smart meters at homes and offices that talk back to utilities, power transmission becomes more efficient as supply is adjusted to meet need. Equally importantly, a modernized grid creates the infrastructure needed to plug in distributed clean energy producers, from wind to solar. While the subject hasn’t attracted the same attention as efforts to green commutes with electric cars, it’s just as important to our future: According to the EPA, 80 percent of all carbon emissions comes from electricity production. Here are three GOOD Company finalists who are trying to change that equation:


Echelon, founded in 1988, is a leader in the smart grid field, producing a smart metering system that gives electrical utilities the tools to install smart devices throughout their networks. These devices make decisions about how to distribute power where it’s needed while avoiding unnecessary waste. They also allow consumers to make smarter choices about when and how to buy energy, allowing them to respond to pricing incentives to get power at off-peak times. Echelon’s products also help make power grids more resilient, rerouting demand for electricity if service is interrupted in one segment of the grid. While many of Echelon’s products are overseas—it services one of the world’s largest smart grids in Italy—it is currently working with Duke Energy to upgrade electrical infrastructure in North Carolina.

Powerit Solutions

Analysts estimate that improving energy efficiency in the industrial sector could save $47 billion a year in costs, and that’s exactly where Powerit hopes to make its mark. The company was founded in 2002 based on Swedish technology first developed in the '90s; the current iteration, called Spara (Swedish for “conserve”) gives energy-intensive businesses the ability to better control their energy consumption by managing spikes in power demand. The company has helped an organic food company keep its refrigerators running even when it’s hot and configured a superalloy manufacturer’s energy usage to offset the equivalent of 1,775 acres of fir trees.


Consert, founded in 2008, is a relatively young entry to the smart grid sector, but has already partnered with a number of major players, including GE, Qualcomm and Verizon Wireless. Consert makes smart meters that allow consumers to save on their electrical spending and even adjust their thermostats and lights from a smartphone. The company also allows consumers to access a dashboard that shows their energy usage, giving them them the information they need to conserve energy and benefiting both the environment and their budgets. The company says its technology will allow utilities to better monitor carbon emissions, implement new pricing programs to take advantage of consumer decision-making, and begin integrating solar and wind power—along with electrical vehicle charging—into the grid.


Upgrading our energy infrastructure is a major social priority as the pressures of global warming and energy costs continue to increase. These three firms are GOOD companies because integrating information technology into the grid is a major step toward solving those problems.

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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