First Fuel | Automatic Energy Audit for Efficient Energy

FirstFuel announced that it will receive $2.4 million from venture capital companies Nth Power and Battery Ventures. This will enable the commercialization of a software system that will effectively measure the energy efficiency of a commercial building. Now, there will be reliable application software that will evaluate and tell how to make a commercial building more energy efficient.

The software will analyze energy consumption as well as weather data to create energy efficiency recommendations without the need to install equipment or even perform an energy audit. It does not even require a person to do the energy audit or even install meters to generate the data. The company will simply gather data on hourly energy consumption and combine it with weather data to formulate a profile of the building.

Co-founder and CEO Swapnil Shah said that the “zero-touch” method of the system will make it more efficient and useful than conventional methods. In the first trials of the system, it was able to identify a reduction in the energy between 8 and 12 percent. It will filter in 128 variables including the hourly utility data and even the temperature outside. The application will show the analytics underneath it, splitting the energy consumption between air conditioning, lighting, etc.

The business model of FirstFuel will be to sell its software to utilities in order to assist in energy-efficiency programs. Shah said that about 20 to 30 states have regulator-set targets in improving energy efficiency. Utilities can use this software in addition to their own system.

The software enhances efficiency more by comparing a building to standard/usual energy consumption and it will be able to detect if lights are left on even without anyone in the building. It can become a useful tool in measuring effectiveness to reduce energy consumption. Last year, utilities had about $6.6 billion spent on energy-efficiency programs and that is expected to double next year.

-M. Germaine Parra
D.C. Area RealtorFeng Shui Consultant
Licensed in DC, MD and VA
Long and Foster Realtors
6862 Elm Street Office, McLean, VA  22101
Fax:   703-873-1901
Cell:  703.650.8838

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