CIO Review >> Magazine >> March - 2014 issue

GridPoint: Maximizing Energy Savings and Sustainability Solutions

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Joe Philip In the current energy landscape, there is limited ability to collect real-time energy and environmental data, minimal IT automation and fragmented databases and tools for enterprise-wide management. With large, growing and volatile energy expenses, large commercial and government organizations are beginning to understand that effective energy management requires integrated real-time data intelligence and analytics. According to ENERGY STAR, five million buildings and industrial sites spend about $200 billion a year on energy and it is estimated that about 30 percent of this energy is wasted. Additionally, energy rate and bill validation is extremely difficult with over 3,000 utilities in the U.S., each with multiple rate plans. This confusing process results in 80 percent of utility bill audits showing discrepancies. Conservative projections forecast that the annual energy cost will increase an average of 2.05 percent in the commercial and industrial sectors, representing a 46 percent increase over the next 20 years after inflation.

Energy Management Systems (EMS) Typically Offer Large Savings Opportunities

Led by Todd M. Raba, President and CEO, GridPoint's innovative energy management solutions solve these problems by collecting and aggregating real-time energy, environmental, equipment and facility data, leveraging big data analytics, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), low cost computing and wireless technologies, to enable integrated and automated energy management. As an Internet of Things example, GridPoint's Energy Management System (EMS) attaches submeters and monitors to energy-consuming and producing assets and captures real-time, granular energy data from HVAC, lighting, refrigeration, data centers and renewables as well as data about environmental conditions and equipment performance. This data is then sent to GridPoint's cloud-based software platform, which applies big data analytics to provide dashboards and alarms, real-time equipment and site diagnostics, reports and forecasts, project financial tracking and comparison, and information for demand response management and bill validation and comparisons.

The company's differentiating strength lies in the ability to gather and analyze real-time data across a fleet of sites or buildings, regardless of geographic distance, and use this information to dynamically adjust energy consumption and environments in real-time. The cloud-based, centralized database allows energy usage problems to be identified, diagnosed and solved—from temperature set points to individual energy assets.

A series of sector-specific best practices and packages have demonstrated proven savings in the 5 to 30 percent range, often with 24 month paybacks and an annual rate of return that can exceed 50 percent, while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainability goals.On the product side, GridPoint has been exploring some exciting directions in the areas of project financial tracking and comparison, billing validation, rate optimization and is continuously working on product innovation to further energy visibility, analysis and control enabled by real-data.

Recognition and an Impressive Clientele

GridPoint's energy management solutions are deployed at 12,000 sites with over 64 billion data points collected to date and 100 million added daily, which is why six of the top 10 retailers by total sales, four of the top 10 casual dining restaurants, seven of the top ten quick serve restaurants as well as other leaders from commercial and industrial sectors and major government and educational institutions use GridPoint solutions. GridPoint receives consistent recognition from industry analysts for its unique energy management solutions and was recently awarded Frost & Sullivan's 2013 Customer Value Leadership Award for Building Energy Management Solutions and was named as a Top 10 Enterprise Smart Grid Leader by Groom Energy, poising the company for further growth and continued leadership in the energy management industry.