Are we promoting the right kind of energy efficiency?

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“…I am evaluating an energy efficiency program in the industrial sector in California. Recently, we achieved a milestone that I was unsure we would ever make.

Here’s the gist of our study. We are partnering with Lightapp, a startup that uses remote sensing and cloud-based data analytics to provide industrial facilities real-time insights on their energy consumption. For example, Lightapp will alert a factory manager if production went down over the weekend but energy consumption didn’t correspondingly dip.

We are focusing on compressed air, because it is pretty much ubiquitous in industrial facilities and typically accounts for approximately 20% of energy consumption. We’ve seen it used, for example, to blow a puff of air between sheets of cardboard as they’re fed into a label-printing machine. With information from a bunch of facilities, Lightapp can tell managers whether they’re using more energy per unit of compressed air than other facilities, and this benchmarking might nudge them towards efficiency improvements. (Though our project focuses on compressed air, Lightapp’s software works for all types of industrial energy consumption.)”

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