Electric utilities and energy providers are preparing for a new energy reality—a transformation driven by climate change risks, rapid growth in distributed energy resources, and the proliferation of data across the energy value chain. Navigant Research has outlined this energy industry transformation as the development of the energy cloud. The evolution of how, when, and where we consume energy is not just a threat to utilities, but also an opportunity. Recent market developments suggest utilities are recognizing the value of energy management software for customer engagement that can direct consumption changes to meet their peak demand and efficiency goals. Navigant Research suggests the coming year will hold substantial growth in electric utility and energy provider investment of energy management software to drive greater customer engagement for energy efficiency savings and satisfaction.
On November 3, Comverge announced a partnership with Apogee Interactive, Inc. Comverge stated that “When this solution is implemented in conjunction with Comverge’s number-one ranked demand response offerings, utilities can achieve unmatched cost-effectiveness by utilizing a single thermostat and engagement portal to drive both energy savings and peak reduction and can better engage customers by offering them increased control and visibility into their energy consumption.”
On November 13, GridPoint announced it has been acquired by TFC Utilities, a Washington, D.C.-based startup aiming to support regulated utilities in the process of modernizing strategy and procedures in light of industry transformation. The Company’s press release explained that “TFC Utilities’ business model is to transform regulated utilities with a commercial and regulatory construct that drives mass adoption of clean, low cost energy producing and energy saving technologies. The GridPoint acquisition represents TFC Utilities’ commitment to behind the meter technologies that directly benefit customers while also modernizing and enhancing the efficiency of the electric power system.”
A Tool for Compliance
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a fact sheet on energy efficiency alongside the publication of the final ruling on 111(d), or the Clean Power Plan. The EPA explains that states leverage energy efficiency to meet their clean power goals across the different outlined compliance approaches. Even as politics surround the EPA’s authority to regulate on climate change, utilities and energy providers are demonstrating their commitments to energy efficiency not only as a tool for hedging the potential regulatory risk, but also as a means of supporting grid reliability and resiliency.
Navigant Research suggests that energy management software is becoming an increasingly vital tool for promoting energy efficiency programs, tracking reductions in consumption, and improving customer satisfaction. On November 12, Direct Energy announced the acquisition of Panoramic Power, a device-level energy management solution. Direct Energy explained its perspective in a news release, stating “The commercial industry trend is moving toward more centralized energy management solutions with a focus on automated energy data collection and reporting, which is why Direct Energy aims to seamlessly incorporate Panoramic Power’s technology and analytical expertise into what we offer our growing customer base.”
The cost-effective deployment of energy management software has been proving its business value to customers directly (check out the Navigant Research’s Building Energy Management Systems report for more information), and market activity shows strong indications that utilities want in the game. Looking ahead, there will be winners in the marketplace, and intelligent, easy-to-deploy devices may help accelerate interest from utilities. These recent developments are driving the Navigant Research expectation that even more momentum is developing from the acquisitions and partnerships between utilities and technology providers.
Tags: Building Energy Management Systems, Building Innovations, Intelligent Building Management Systems, The Energy Cloud
| No Comments »