Organizations wanting to improve their bottom line would do well to take a close look at their electrical bills. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 30 per cent of the US$250-billion spent on energy in the country is needlessly wasted.
The problem is figuring out where that energy is being lost. And that’s where CircuitMeter has an innovative solution. The Toronto-based company has developed an inexpensive metering technology that can provide instant electricity use data at the circuit level, says CEO Paul Mertes.
Over the past two years, CircuitMeter has installed its technology in commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. “We’ve established the functionality of the technology, the economics of the installation and gathered examples of the energy and cost savings enabled through the system data and analytics,” says Mr. Mertes.
The technology has helped companies quickly identify energy-draining inefficiencies that include exhaust fans operating 24/7 when they should have been powered down overnight, parking lot ramp heating systems operating in July and conveyor motors operating with a power factor of less than 0.3.
CircuitMeter is now embarking on its next stage of growth, raising capital to finance marketing and sales, hire additional employees and expand its operations within Canada and abroad.
CircuitMeter’s expansion plans reflect the opportunities for growth in the clean-tech sphere. As part of Canada’s fastest-growing sector, clean-tech companies are adding jobs and revenues at a greater pace than those in the traditional sectors of our resource-rich country.
However, Canada is a small market, and creating a thriving business requires looking beyond our borders. “The Canadian market is too small on its own, and our clean-tech companies need to pursue international markets,” says Tony Van Bommel, the senior managing partner of BDC Capital’s $152-million Industrial, Clean and Energy Technology Venture Fund.
Both Mr. Mertes and Mr. Van Bommel agree that the first step to international success is for clean-tech companies to prove their technologies close to home.
“Early-stage companies like us need enthusiastic industry partners to adopt new technologies, and a more aggressive stance by public sector bodies would also help,” says Mr. Mertes. “Improved productivity, a lower cost structure and advanced energy and environmental performance will enhance any organization.”
Adds Mr. Van Bommel: “For Canada to be a leader in this field, we need Canadians to support these technologies. We tend to be late adopters, but it’s time for us to become early adopters of clean tech. It will benefit us as Canadians and it will benefit our companies, enabling them to grow both here at home and around the world.”
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