Ben Franklin once said: “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned.” And while saving a single penny might not be as appealing these days, saving billions upon billions of pennies is a very exciting prospect. And that’s what we help energy companies do.
Right now, every energy company is leaving money on the table. Wasted energy, inefficiencies in the product cycle, old technology—companies bleed hundreds of millions of dollars every year due to antiquated, inefficient practices.
Do you know much money your company is leaving on the table? We promise you your data does. The data you’ve gathered over your company’s history holds secrets and hidden insights that can help you transform your business into a more efficient, more profitable machine.
You just need to know how to unlock them.
How data is changing the way we use energy
In our last post, we talked about how we analyzed the supply chain of carbon output for coal generators to determine how to maximize returns. But that’s just one of many examples of how to optimize your processes.
Your energy business might be bleeding money without you even realizing it. Fortunately, better data insights can help you discover how unforeseen issues affect your bottom line. These issues may be minute and perhaps don’t amount to much in the near term. But after a million cycles in 10,000 generators across a dozen locations in the United States? That’s a lot of pennies.
Take electric utilities, for instance. They calculate demand based upon time of day and time of year so that they know how much energy to provide to the local grid. Much of that data is collected by federal regulatory agencies such as EIA, NERC, FERC and the EPA. If you take this public data and marry it with your proprietary data, you can begin to see how your operations stack up against fleet-wide benchmarks.
Simply put, superior data analytics means superior ROI.
Let’s look at three companies that are using better data practices to change the world:
Case Study #1: Agrilyst
We had a chance to meet Allison Kopf when Agrilyst was still a budding idea in her mind. At the time, she was working in the hydroponic farm space at BrightFarms. It was here she saw the wasted potential of legacy systems and found the inspiration to create a smarter, more efficient method of optimizing hydroponic data.
Hydroponics is very energy intensive, which is why understanding the relationship between energy use and cost expenditure is essential. So Allison created a business intelligence software built around tons of greenhouse data, including:
- Carbon atmosphere tracking
- Grow lights energy consumption
- Culture data
- Employee management
In their first year of operation after putting this system in place, Agrilyst won TechCrunch’s 2015 Startup Competition and is poised to change the way food is grown in urban environments. No longer are greenhouses dependent upon their in-house agronomists for reliable data. Agrilyst may soon change hydroponic systems forever.
Case Study #2: Enerknol
EnerKnol, host of New York Energy Week (NYEW) is a massive asset to the energy community. Their product is a must-have for anyone looking to make serious capital investments in the energy market.
In the United States, there are nearly 2,000 agencies regulating energy and land use in relation to energy infrastructure. Enerknol has built a database for all of the public documents (from municipal to federal levels) for each of these agencies.
So, if you want to build a wind farm in Utah, Enerknol can give you a surplus of research material on the regulatory environment in Utah in seconds flat, creating a far more streamlined research process for both energy entrepreneurs as well as larger, established businesses.
With their hard work putting New York Energy Week together, EnerKnol is positioning itself as a thought leader in the energy space and a great resource for all energy professionals.
Case Study #3: The Grid NYC
These days, a lot of “environmental management systems” are very expensive but don’t actually do a whole lot. The Grid NYC is about to change that. They’re poised to use the Internet of Things the way it was meant to be used.
As society becomes more environmentally conscious, it’s important to know what’s going on inside of a building at all times. Fortunately, with today’s low-cost, low-power sensors, it’s possible to give your building a digital nervous system. The Grid NYC is on top of this. They’re positioning themselves as the authority on questions like:
- Where are the hot and cold spots in my building?
- What’s the composition of the atmosphere?
- How much light is being used by every room in the apartment?
- What is the unique energy footprint of each unit?
These are just some of the questions that a building manager needs the answers to. The Grid NYC can better manage the energy output of any building and do it for a far lower cost than the outdated monitoring systems most apartments and office buildings are using today.
While all three of these companies are powerful examples of how data can influence energy production, they only scratch the surface of the changing industry. Countless data companies are making meaningful contributions to the energy world, and we are excited to have our own place among them.
Quite frankly, we can’t wait for New York Energy Week, when the energy industry comes together here in our backyard. If you want to learn more about NYEW, what’s going to happen, or how to pitch in, come to the next and final Energy Week steering committee meetup. To find out how to get involved in other ways, Get Involved at the NY Energy Week website.