Intelligent energy conservation solutions
Businesses represent the next major opportunity for energy efficiency, according to David Helliwell, co-founder and CEO of Pulse Energy. Commercial buildings in North America use $200-billion in energy each year, yet have been often overlooked by traditional conservation efforts. Mr. Helliwell’s company has combined energy expertise and software analysis to tackle this problem.
“Our mission is to make the world’s businesses more energy-efficient,” Mr. Helliwell says, ex- plaining that the company pairs that objective with a unique approach to cost-effectively delivering savings.
“We partner with utilities and analyze energy data from their customers,” Mr. Helliwell says, with Pulse Energy’s energy intelligence software identifying anomalous power use and highlighting areas to improve. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing operating schedules or turning off appliances overnight to deliver meaningful cost and energy savings.”
Since it started working with BC Hydro in 2009, Pulse Energy has built up an impressive track record. “[BC Hydro] rolled out our software to hundreds of their largest commercial customers as part of a continuous optimization program that has delivered around 10 per cent savings on average,” Mr. Helliwell says, adding that the operational efficiency of the buildings has been improved by a combination of the software and energy managers. He emphasizes that those percentages have been achieved through low or no-cost measures with short payback periods.
Pulse Energy now works with leading utilities across three continents, and is on track to analyze over two million businesses by the end of 2014. These generate an immense amount of data on how commercial customers – dry cleaners, shoe stores, offices, elementary schools, universities and others – interact with their energy use, which feeds back into constantly improving the software.
This innovation has come to the attention of British Gas Business, the commercial division
of the United Kingdom’s largest energy company. In a recently announced deal, Pulse Energy’s technology will improve the energy performance of British Gas’s entire commercial customer base at over 900,000 locations.
British Gas was attracted by Pulse Energy’s commercial expertise and ability to improve customer relationships. “Our primary role is to help them better engage with their customers so they can provide better services,” Mr. Helliwell says, adding that energy savings lead to lower bills, an important part in attracting and retaining customers. “It’s a virtuous circle we’re proud to be a part of.”
Energy intelligence also plays an important role as more renewables are coming on board, says Mr. Helliwell. Bringing more intelligence into the system and encouraging people to tailor their energy use to its availability can ease the pressure on the grid and reduce the need for storage.
Canada’s energy consumption decreased 0.6 per cent to 8,179 petajoules in 2012, following a 7.5 per cent increase in 2011.
Energy consumption increased in total mining and oil and gas extraction (+13.3 per cent) and the construction sector (+3.6 per cent). All other sectors showed decreases in energy consumption.
Refined petroleum products (38.1 per cent) were the main source of energy consumed in Canada in 2012, followed by natural gas (30.8 per cent) and primary electricity (22.5 per cent).
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