An MIT-incubated company has launched a software platform that analyzes the potential benefits of thousands of energy efficiency measures in buildings, on the same day it announced $800,000 in angel funding.
Retroficiency, which was founded by CEO Bennett Fisher while he was a student at the MIT Sloan School of Management, has raised $800,000 of angel investment in a funding round led by Nasdaq-listed energy management firm World Energy Solutions. Investors include Jean Hammond and Jill Preotle, who were both early investors in car-sharing service ZipCar.
Retroficiency’s efficiency identification and qualification (EIQ) software (screengrab pictured, left), launched today, analyzes thousands of potential energy efficiency projects in minutes, the company said. The system analyzes options using tens of thousands of completed energy audits and a proprietary database of energy efficiency measures.
It is aimed at energy service companies (ESCOs), facility management firms, large commercial property owners and others looking to assess energy efficiency measures across a portfolio of properties.
Jones Lang LaSalle has already signed up as a client.
“Our challenge is to identify and qualify as many viable energy saving opportunities as quickly as possible and then prioritize them across the portfolios of buildings that we manage,” said Bruce Sirota, Jones Lang LaSalle’s senior vice president of energy and sustainability services. “Retroficiency will help us be more efficient at our current process, while allowing us to be more accurate across different building types, sizes, and climate regions around the country.”
Retroficiency said that until now, energy efficiency evaluation has been a slow, expensive operation with little standardization. It said that its platform can be used with little building data or can incorporate more details as they are collected.
“Retroficiency is innovatively employing predictive modeling for energy efficiency,” said Eric Teicholz, a fellow of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and chair of IFMA’s sustainability committee. “Their platform will save considerable time and money over manual inspections and provides actionable retrofit solutions that include cost, rebate and energy benchmarking information.”
The field for building-based energy efficiency software already has some huge players. Yesterday Johnson Controls announced that its current public sector building efficiency projects are “guaranteed” to save more than $4.7 billion in energy, water and operational costs over the next ten years.
But a 2010 study by Johnson Controls found that energy management was a higher priority in regions such as China and India than in Europe and North America, and last December a UK study found that businesses are walking away from a £1.6bn (US$ 2.5bn) annual saving potential from energy investments because finance directors are undervaluing the financial returns from investments in energy efficiency by more than half.