Viridity Energy inked an agreement with GDF SUEZ Energy Resources, an industrial, commercial and institutional retail electricity provider.
The Philadelphia-based startup will offer its load management platform to GDF’s large customers. Viridity doesn’t just offer capacity demand response, but rather turns buildings into virtual power plants that can play in various demand response and ancillary markets.
"Using electricity at the right time can really make a difference in a company's bottom line, particularly for large energy users," said David Coffman, Vice President of Marketing for GDF SUEZ Energy Resources.
GDF, which works across twelve states, will work with Viridity to analyze customer load for year-round demand management. Viridity, on the other hand, will leverage GDF’s supply and trading capabilities to bring customers into new wholesale markets. The partnership will start out with a pilot project.
For retail electricity providers, it is becoming increasingly important to be an energy advisor, especially to large customers that could be able to make money on adjusting their power throughout the year, rather than just on the hottest days of summer. GDF estimates that it has a peak load of about 10 gigawatts across the dozen markets it works in.
WegoWise, which is best known for its work in the multifamily building management market, has launched a commercial platform.
The new platform is already being used by Liberty Property Trust across nearly 3 million of its commercial properties and will be rolled out to its 81-million-square-foot portfolio.
Although commercial is a different beast than residential buildings, there are many similarities. There is a split incentive for portfolio owners of large apartment blocks as there are for owners of large office buildings. WegoWise addresses this in its platform by offering engagement for tenants and helping the owners develop leases that share costs and paybacks.
The commercial platform comes after WegoWise bought another startup Melon Power, which is focused on benchmarking for large commercial buildings, a process now required by more and more cities and states.
While WegoWise was mostly a lone wolf in the multifamily space, it is just one in a crowd in the commercial energy management market, including building controls giants like Honeywell, Siemens, Johnson Controls and Schneider Electric, as well as startups such as SCIenergy, SkyFoundry, BuildingIQ, Retroficiency, Honest Buildings and FirstFuel.
The good news for WegoWise is, despite the competition in the commercial market, the multifamily housing market alone is a $3.4 billion opportunity for energy efficiency.
ThinkEco has teamed up with Accenture’s Smart Buildings & Energy Solutions division to bring building owners detailed information on office plug loads. The ThinkEco modlet, a smart plug, has mostly been positioned as a residential solution, but it could just as easily support businesses, especially small ones.
The modlet will send data to Accenture’s platform of web-based tools. In offices, plug load can be up to 25 percent of facilities’ overall costs. The question is where smart plugs will have the most bang for their buck. For Accenture, the addition is a low-cost option for customers that don’t require behavioral change from office workers.
Of course, the holy grail is not smart plugs, but for these capabilities to be incorporated directly into large office equipment.
The Green Button initiative, geared to give electric utility customers a standardized format for their data, is largely seen as an opportunity to engage the average residential customer. But the reality is that at least in the early days (and it’s still early days), it will be commercial enterprises that will benefit from having easy access to their data.
EnerNOC (ENOC: NASDAQ) is one of the latest companies to leverage this data, building an Open Data project to spur energy management innovation. EnerNOC is offering up one year of granular energy data from 100 large buildings. The data has been scrubbed and is anonymous.
The demand management leader is hoping that developers and engineers will use the data for research and integration testing, but not for commercial purposes. Of course, EnerNOC would love to spur some innovation that could be folded into its own operations.
The data is available just in time for the Boston CleanWeb Hackathon and Data Jam on Friday, which EnerNOC is sponsoring. While the Hackathon will only build prototypes, the Data Jam will go on for three months and will likely result in production-ready products.