Today's guest post comes to us from Tim Healy, CEO of EnerNOC, an AEE member compnay. For more information on how you can become a member of AEE, click here.
When asked to submit a guest post for Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance Summit, I was delighted, particularly given the relevance of the theme – the new energy ROI: Resilience, Optionality, and Intelligence – to EnerNOC’s focus and future. It couldn’t be more fitting.
Ironically, I had read Bloomberg New Energy Finance Chief Executive Michael Liebreich’s VIP Comment on the new energy ROI several months ago. I found this piece unexpectedly during preparation to host a panel for an EnergySMART workshop we held a few months ago in Philadelphia. The term “optionality” came up over and over again during conversations with our customers about the role of technology and products in helping them to make more intelligent energy decisions, as this is a core tenet of what we strive to offer customers on a daily basis. I wondered how much attention these ideas were getting from others who were thinking about, in Liebreich’s words, the “complete, stable and complex energy ecosystem.”
Data is at the heart of what we do, and making energy data actionable — turning it into intelligence for better energy decision making – is what we’re best at. Therefore, I thought it would be most relevant to talk about what we’re doing with open data, and how these efforts are central to making the energy system more resilient.
Much like the concept of open innovation years ago, open data is giving developers access to unprecedented amounts of data, allowing us to create systems that produce the most intelligent, data-driven solutions possible. We talked about open data in one of our recent blogs in reference to a DOE Google+ Hangout discussion, noting that “the open data movement is attempting to shift the proprietary value away from the data itself and towards how the data is utilized.” With our latest initiative, an open source portal called EnerNOC Open, we are looking to push innovation further by inviting engineers and developers to collaborate with us to improve the energy management platform.
Through initiatives like this, we continue to build more robust solutions, like EfficiencySMART, our enterprise energy management solution that integrates energy, market, and weather data to enable customers to dynamically manage their energy through dashboards, reports, alerts and alarms. With our ability to handle big data, the more data we can integrate, the smarter our platform – and the smarter our customers can be in making energy decisions that affect their bottom line.
To our customers, in their words, this leads to “optionality” – the ability to manage energy data on a daily basis to drive savings and achieve energy and sustainability goals, the ability to prioritize energy efficiency measures. To them, this also means the ability to tie energy data to their billing data to ensure they are paying the correct amount for the energy they are using – no more, no less. The gives them the ability to get leverage through this visibility to purchase energy in more intelligent ways, taking on exactly as much risk as they are prepared to take.
The key to making energy systems more resilient is the ability to transform energy data into actionable intelligence. So, if anyone asks us about the new energy ROI, we’ll say: “Got (Energy) Data?”