Supporters of energy efficiency often talk about the tremendous untapped opportunity to squeeze energy savings out of the existing building stock. This fact has been proven time and time again.
However, choosing the right measures that will achieve the deepest levels of efficiency in the most cost-effective way remains extremely difficult. In a recent survey that Pike Research conducted on behalf of Rocky Mountain Institute, 19 percent of building retrofit industry professionals indicated that auditing/benchmarking and selecting energy efficiency measures are the most challenging phases in the retrofit process to execute. Not to mention the fact that many in the retrofit industry cite a severe shortage of qualified energy auditors, particularly when it comes to the holy grail of retrofits, the investment-grade audit. And, with a growing number of new laws that will require them to provide energy bills to prospective tenants and buyers in major U.S. cities, large property owners are starting to consider ways to expedite the retrofit process in any way they can.
A new offering from start-up company Retroficiency is aiming to make retrofits easier for energy service companies and large commercial building portfolio owners and managers. The company’s energy efficiency identification and qualification (EIQ) platform systematically analyzes the potential benefits of thousands of commercial building energy efficiency measures.
The company developed its SaaS platform by leveraging information from tens of thousands of energy audits and demonstrated savings from energy efficiency measures. Using it, a commercial building owner can input the location, size, and a number of other basic building-related inputs to determine a suite of energy efficiency measures that will cut energy consumption in the building.
I recently had the chance to speak with Bennett Fisher, the CEO of Retroficiency, about the solution and how he thinks it will transform the industry. “We’re flipping the retrofit process on its head,” Fisher says. “Instead of saying, ‘Here’s what you should do to make your building more efficient,’ we can now ask, ‘How much energy do you want to save? We’ll help you get there.'” In other words, an energy or facility management company can say that it wants to cut energy consumption by 20 percent in all its facilities. The Retroficiency platform works backwards to select the best suite of efficiency measures to achieve those savings.
The idea definitely hits a nerve in the retrofit industry and others in the energy efficiency industry agree. Earlier this month, Retroficiency announced that it had raised $800,000 in angel funding. The round, led by World Energy Solutions, which has leveraged the Retroficiency platform to roll out a new product, the Virtual Energy Audit, will help Retroficiency further develop and commercialize its offering. “The world is changing from where it was ten years ago,” points out World Energy Solutions President and COO, Phil Adams. “It’s no longer just a question of paying your bills but of how you can maximize energy savings.”
Needless to say, Retroficiency’s offering represents an innovative new entrant in the energy efficiency space that will help tap the efficiency potential of the built environment.
Photo by Matt Bateman/flickr/Creative Commons
Article by Eric Bloom.