The move is not a pilot, but a full-blown expansion for the networked lighting company. Redwood Systems is not only inking deals with some large utilities, but is also branching into Europe through channel partners Anixter and CommScope.
“We’re open for business in Europe,” said Sam Klepper, CMO of Redwood Systems. “The culture is much more energy-aware, and we can provide even more dollar savings.”
The European market is extremely attractive to Redwood and other energy efficiency companies because of aggressive government mandates, coupled with the high energy prices and the environmental awareness that Klepper noted.
EDF is currently testing Redwood’s LED lighting controls system in its lab, and will be offering it to its commercial customers with some sort of incentive, which could come in the form of a rebate or energy credit, for instance, depending on the energy saved.
The savings for LED systems are similar to those in the U.S., Klepper said. In the company's first European pilot, there was about a 75 percent savings in lighting energy use by switching to Redwood’s lighting controls systems. For companies not ready to make the switch to LEDs, Redwood also announced earlier this year it can work with nearly any lighting fixture.
In cities like London, where Redwood just opened an office, there is also the added advantage that space is at a premium and rents are high. Klepper noted that a lot of interest came from some of the benefits around occupancy sensing, which is part of Redwood’s system. For companies that are paying high rent premiums, understanding how conference rooms and other areas are utilized throughout the day is particularly attractive.
The U.K. market is even more attractive because of its CRC Energy Efficiency scheme and the impending Green Deal, which should be expanded to the commercial sector sometime in 2013. Redwood Systems is also working to get certified by the Carbon Trust, which advises the public sector and private companies about which low-carbon technologies to adopt.
“There are a number of different programs you can be a part of if you have real, qualified energy efficiency products,” said Klepper. The Fremont, Calif.-based company has already gone through European standards testing.
Although the drivers are a little different in the U.K. market, Redwood Systems sees the competition as very similar to the U.S. market.
Redwood plans to initially focus on the U.K., Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and France, although Klepper said the company had had interest from all over Europe. If anything, he said that keeping up with demand is one of the firm's biggest challenges.
It is a nice problem to have, especially with Redwood’s target of having 40 percent of its business coming from Europe in just three years.
Competitors include Enlighted, which networks sensors to offer distributed intelligence at the individual light fixture level; Digital Lumens, which networks LED lights for warehouses; and Adura. While we’ve yet to see giants like Siemens, Schneider Electric, GE, Honeywell or Johnson Controls use their incumbent building management system positions to colonize networked lighting, that could change.