By Elisa Wood
June 10, 2013
The US faces a bit of a math problem when it comes to making its buildings more energy efficient. If every energy auditor worked around the clock, it would take 22 years to analyze all buildings.
And of course the audit is only step one.
“At that point we wouldn’t have saved a single kilowatt-hour of energy,” said Mike Kaplan, vice president of marketing for Retroficiency, a building analytics company and the source of the 22-year statistic.
Is there a way to speed the process – and allow auditors to eat and sleep too? Retroficiency is a part of a breed of startups that see big data and analytics as the solution.
The first trick is figuring out which buildings to tackle. Utilities and energy service companies need guidance identifying the best prospects among the nation’s five million buildings. Thirty percent of US buildings account for 70 percent of the potential energy savings, Kaplan said.
To identify the 30 percent, Retroficiency offers a ‘virtual energy assessment,’ a platform that quickly scans buildings to “create energy models on the fly,” he said. The software program evaluates thousands of commercial buildings per day, spending minutes on each building. It requires only a building’s interval consumption data and address. The process is entirely remote; no one needs to set foot on the property.