15 Nathalie Osborn


Seeing CWEEL Feature Member: Nathalie Osborn

In the words of her nominator, “Nathalie has been a CWEEL speaker on Powering Positivity and joined CWEEL and began volunteering with the Career Advancement Committee and has made many contributions to help plan training webinars and also speak.  She has had very interesting experience both in the energy industry and now in founding her own consulting company to help people reach their career potential.”

In Her Own Words

Many people are unfamiliar with the many, varied roles out there. We would love to hear more about your roles from the start of your career through today. It is always interesting to showcase how people came to be where they are, what their motivations were at different points, influences, etc. Share as much of your story as you would like, below.

I’ve been in the industry now for over 20 years and have been fortunate to have a variety of roles in the industry and to work with stakeholders across the spectrum. I still can’t believe I’ve helped to implement over $500M in energy programs and projects, and it’s proven to be a fun, challenging career in an ever-changing industry. 

I started my career in the automotive industry, which eventually led me to a field engineering role working hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The company I worked for built and integrated the fuel cell engines into the vehicles and my job was to travel with the demonstration vehicles and perform field and wind tunnel testing on range, efficiency and performance – it was a lot of fun!  Unfortunately, the company closed its doors and I was laid off – yet I’d caught the bug for the energy industry! My next role was working for the San Diego Regional Energy Office (which is now the Center for Sustainable Energy) managing the Self-Generation Incentive Program providing rebates on solar, wind and co-generation projects. In this role, I also got to work with an incredible statewide working group to co-author and launch the California Solar Initiative. When I started consulting years later, I researched the impact of the program to help inform the CPUC CSI market transformation studies which was fun!  Another interesting consulting project was helping to develop a LEED Home Ratings Sustainability Guide in a Qatar context for a client. 

My career path led me from managing rebate programs and providing rebates to projects to business development roles implementing design-build projects, performance contracts, power purchase agreements. My first project was a power purchase agreement on a 700kW+ solar tracker project to help a rural school district in California save on energy costs by “harvesting their energy” from the sun. 

Additional roles have included managing a portfolio of residential energy efficiency programs, working with commercial real estate managers to certify the first properties in  the Institute of Real Estate Management IREM Sustainability Program, and also serving as the Director of Smart Grid Initiatives at Next Energy.  

I wholeheartedly attribute my success over the years to also investing in my own personal energy through personal and professional growth and development. This led me to become a Certified Canfield Success Principles Methodology Trainer and FranklinCovey facilitator. I’m also the co-author of the international bestseller, Ignite Your Leadership.

In 2022, I started Positively Powered, and while I still provide some limited technical consulting, my main focus is sharing the strategies I used to fuel my accomplished career with industry organizations by providing interactive, transformational coaching and training programs.  I believe our personal energy is our most renewable resource —and I’m now on a mission to help burnt-out industry professionals fuel more success, unplug daily stress and energize careers and lives they love! (Which I love!)

What achievements, projects, or presentations  are you proud of?
Co-authoring Ignite Your Leadership, co-authoring the California Solar Initiative, feeling like I’ve made an impact in our industry and starting a business (that’s still going!) during a pandemic!

Do you have a quote that has inspired you?
Here are two I keep posted by my desk: “Your time and your energy are your two most valuable resources. Each day you get to choose how to invest them. Do so wisely.” along with this one “Small, smart choices + Consistency + Time = Radical Difference”  

Do you have any professional role models?
A former manager of mine Nancy Vogtli – she taught me a lot about how to stand in your power, even when you’re one of the few women in the room and how to advocate for yourself. 

What is the best advice you received as a woman in energy?
You are already worthy. Find a way to believe in yourself and surround yourself with a trusted alliance and tribe of like-minded individuals who will support you, help you rise,  and believe in you during the moments when you feel doubt.