02 Apr 2012, James Murray, BusinessGreen
A UK start-up is looking to drive adoption of energy and environmental management software following the launch earlier this month of a free software suite designed to help small and medium-sized firms and public-sector organisations track key environmental metrics.
Founded last autumn by Google's former European head of green operations, Benjamin Kott, EnergyDeck provides users with the ability to track and manage their electricity, gas, and water use, and waste production, and also manage projects designed to reduce their environmental impact.
In addition, the company will this week update the software to provide users with the ability to track transport and travel-related emissions.
EnergyDeck is entering an increasingly crowded market that has seen a host of software firms launch energy and environmental management systems in recent years.
However, Kott maintained that unlike many of its competitors it would primarily target smaller businesses and organisations, offering people with one building and up to three energy meters the opportunity to use the system for free. Larger customers would then be able to sign up to a premium version of the software with prices starting from just £10 a month.
Kott was in San Francisco last week as part of the Cool and Clean Mission and is seeking up to $400,000 in funding to promote the free service and fund the next phase of development that will see a wide range of new functionality added to the software.
Most notably, he is aiming to add a "recommendation engine" to the system that will automatically analyse an organisation's environmental performance and recommend potential improvements and green technology suppliers.
"At Google I undertook 10 energy audits of the company's largest offices and found that of the top 10 recommendations for the buildings seven were almost always the same," Kott said, explaining the thinking behind the recommendation engine. "That raised the question as to how you automate the process so it could be used by the 90 other offices around the world that didn't have energy managers, and then the millions of other businesses around the world."
Kott is also planning to introduce social networking functionality to the system so that similar businesses or organisations in an area can form groups through the application to compare performance and recommend actions. Similarly, anonymised data from across the system's database could be shared to allow users to compare their performance against peers and identify best practices.
"You could form a group of all the schools in south London, which would all have similar challenges, and then they can track their performance against others and work together more effectively to cut their impacts," Kott explained.
© Incisive Media Investments Limited 2012, Published by Incisive Financial Publishing Limited