We spoke to Melinda Zito O’Brien, Owner of Energy Utility Group (EUG), about how EUG has succeeded since accepting the Lillie Knox investment award.

Energy Utility Group (EUG) is an Outsourced Energy Management firm founded in 2013 by Melinda Zito O’Brien.  Essentially, EUG is the energy department for businesses who don’t have an energy department or need augmentation to their energy department.  Our business is energy. The services EUG provides are:

1.    Commercial Electricity procurement – traditional, on-site solar, off site solar & wind
2.    Natural gas procurement
3.    Energy (Battery) Storage – solar plus energy storage
4.    Consulting services
5.    Employee Electricity Benefit Program (Lillie Knox Award for the web development) residential electricity 
6.    Energy InFill® - EUG’s 1- 5 MW systems that generate, store, and share energy for companies, cities, or counties. Think mini grids that can be connected.

What inspired you to apply?

EUG’s pivot during the pandemic was to develop a web-based tool for our residential program for Women Owned Businesses who virtual home office.  EUG began developing a web-based tool to educate and provide curated offers to WBE’s, WBC Southwest, WBC Southwest Sponsors, and EUG customer and all of their employees. This web-based tool has the user input data from their existing Texas electricity bill and provides special curated offers – we call ‘commercial style pricing for residential customers’.

During the acceptance testing, EUG discovered more needed to be done to really provide a valuable tool for users and EUG to expand our footprint to other deregulated states.  In order finish the tool EUG needed more advanced programmers and money.  We put the software requirements out to bid and applied for the Lillie Knox Investment Award.

The Lillie Knox award has given EUG the tools to move forward. 

EUG is excited to announce as of June 15, 2021, we have completed our software development for the web-based tool, completed acceptance testing and have done a soft with several enrollments from WBE & EUG customer employees!!!!  The URL is only available to the specific audience listed above; the new URL is www.energyutilitygroup.com/benefits

Working with WBCS promotes personal and entrepreneurial growth! 

Since becoming a WBENC certified WBE in 2013, my network has grown tremendously leading to opportunities, collaborations and forming relationships with other women business owners.  I take advantage of the learning opportunities provided by WBC Southwest (WBCS) to develop my leadership and business skills.

The first place I look for resources, products and services are the certified WBCS network and the WBENC network. - Melinda Zito O’Brien, Owner, Energy Utility Group

I am very active and involved with WBCS.  I am a founding member of and am active on the Austin Committee as well as a key contributor to the Austin Group.  I serve on the certification committee conducting site visits, in and around the Austin regional area. Both of these have organically provided me the opportunities to mentor new WBEs and provide them EUG sponsorship tickets to attend events to encourage involvement.  I was in the 2nd cohort of WBENC’s Executive Energy Program which enhanced my knowledge of the energy industry business streams and built lasting relationships with the other WBE CEOs.  In 2019, I was recognized as the Regional Volunteer of the Year at the Parade of Stars Awards Gala.  EUG’s annual WBCS sponsorship is for events in Austin and Dallas.

EUG advocates for WBEs by bringing WBE businesses into on-going projects, hiring WBE businesses, and referring WBE businesses while making introductions for other WBEs. I am passionate about helping WBEs succeed and I have a strong belief in the missions “Join Forces. Succeed Together” and “Lift as You Climb”.    WBE certification has been invaluable to me and my company, EUG.

Advice for those applying:

DO IT!  Apply for the Lilly Knox Investment Award – WBCS wants to see your company grow and thrive.  Don’t be shy apply.  We all need help the difference can be as simple as asking for what you need to grow your business.

The Lillie Knox Investment Award is truly an investment you and your business. I am profoundly grateful for this award – I can’t wait to share future results from this investment for EUG.