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| Unlocking Energy Efficiency with Haystack
On my inaugural trip to Haystack, I expect to find companies such as these. My mission will be to find the appropriate set of collaborators to turn energy efficiency into a mass-market product.
Energy Efficiency Engineer,
SES Consulting Inc
In preparation for Haystack Connect 2015
Ken Sinclair of Automated Buildings asked that I write a bit about why
I am so excited to be heading to the conference this May. Thanks for reading.
When I first came to SES Consulting in October of 2012, it felt like coming home. The company that Ken and Scott Sinclair have built over the past thirty years is a place where a passion for sustainability can thrive uncompromised by the bottom line. The energy efficiency and building automation business is good. It consistently presents interesting and complex challenges. If done right, it can result is deep reductions of greenhouse gasses, and can even occasionally be lucrative.
Lately, however, it's been hard to shake the feeling of the wolf at the door. While the pressing need to reduce greenhouse gasses increases with every year, we struggle to scale our impact in response. There are several key challenges that we face on a daily basis:
The day-to-day challenges with keeping business moving forward often
begs the question: What happens when the stream of early adopters
becomes a trickle, when incentive money is used up and the niche jobs
are finished? As an industry, we require simple, robust, and
market-driven solutions to drive large-scale reductions in greenhouse
gasses. This is why I am excited to be heading to Haystack
Connect this May.
On my inaugural trip to Haystack, I expect to find companies such as
these. My mission will be to find the appropriate
set of collaborators to turn energy efficiency into a mass-market
In order to drive mass-market adoption, we need to speak to CFOs, and in order to do this we need to be able to treat energy efficiency like a financial product. Any good investment has several simple criteria. It must be:
With the appropriate set of tools, energy efficiency projects can be made to fit these criteria.
The key to unlocking this potential lies in accessible building
monitoring technology, such as those that will be presented at Haystack
Connect 2015. We have seen a drastic reduction in cost of
building automation technologies while open source platforms have
allowed outside collaborators access to what was previously the tightly
held intellectual property. As we have seen repeatedly in parallel
industries, at the crossroads of low cost technology and open
collaboration lies disruptive innovation. We are ready to
open the door to:
For Moore's 'Well Heeled Visionaries', these advances will allow for a
drastic pivot. A much simplified version of
business-as-usual looks something like the following:
This workflow suffers from the following pitfalls:
As described above, the first three pains can be relieved by
appropriate technologies. The last can be solved by
off-balance-sheet financing, like traditional ESCO models, or
leasing arrangements like start-up SparkFund offers. By relieving
all of these pain points, we can effectively create a 'freemium'
service model that can be marketed to a much wider market. The
new model may look something like this:
From start to finish, the client remains cash-flow positive. The product is scale-able across diverse markets, and non-specialists can be involved in many steps of the process. As part of this 'freemium' service, the auditor can be contracted to provide ongoing expertise and monitoring for the life of the measure, further reducing the risk.
Only by creating simple, scale-able, and low risk products will we drive the large greenhouse gas reductions we need to live a happy and healthy future. The companies attending Haystack Connect are at the cutting edge of this movement to revolutionize energy efficiency. This is why I count SES Consulting lucky to be included among them.
As the learning manager at SES I will be assisting my mentor, Ken Sinclair, to present ‘Attracting Self-Learning Assets’. We will be giving a collaborative talk on trying to support a new generation of Engineers in their path through this ever-changing career landscape.
Hope to see you there,
About the Author
am an Engineer and Community Organizer. I focus my attention on energy
issues, from conservation to resource development policy. I strive to
have the highest environmental impact I can through my work both
professionally and within the community. My ultimate goals are the
reduction of greenhouse gasses and providing a just, livable
environment for my children.
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