BY MARTIN OCHIENG
The role of Energy Service Companies or ESCO’s in short in the advancement of energy management and energy efficiency on a global scale is significant enough to warrant a closer look. In the United States alone, ESCO-delivered projects delivered savings amounting to up to 1% of all energy consumed in commercial buildings in 2012 (Carvallo, Murphy, Stuart, Larsen, & Goldman, 2019). The data collected in this country alone should be enough to highlight the magnitude of the potential available just through the ESCO model not just for energy savings, but as a viable business model capable of employing a significant section of the population.
It is, however, crucial to first understand what an Energy Service Company is and the implications of this model. An Energy Service Company is a company that provides Energy-Efficiency-Related services to other companies and organizations through a performance contracting approach (Carvallo, Murphy, Stuart, Larsen, & Goldman, 2019). This performance contracting approach essentially guarantees energy savings and their resulting cost savings to the client and the ESCO’s compensation draws from the performance of the project in a pre-determined way. These performance contracts draw from the Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC) business model which involves long term contracts between ESCO’s and clients that allow the client to fund significantly large energy efficiency projects, onsite energy generation, and other energy projects without having to incur up-front costs (Carvallo, Murphy, Stuart, Larsen, & Goldman, 2019).
Given the description of how ESCO’s work and how the whole model holds up from a business perspective, it is evident that this process is a significantly data-intensive undertaking. The underlying concept that validates this model as a business relies on being able to measure the energy performance before and after the application of the energy project. This need makes energy monitoring and analytics a crucial element of the whole process (Augustins, Jaunzems, Rochas, & Kamendersb, 2018). Various approaches exist for energy monitoring and analytics. However, this article will focus on the Eagles Energy Management Portal and how its various modules present a viable approach for measuring, recording, and analyzing data (Eenovators Ltd, 2021).
1. Data Continuity
The approaches taken through this online platform provide a complete package with regards to data continuity without impeding the platform’s ability to control the amount of data it stores. This is possible through a proprietary data management approach that draws from expertise both on the data science front and the immense experience and expertise from energy engineers and auditors in the development team.
For instance, the snapshot from the platform shows data collected by the platform from 1st June 2019 to 31st March 2021, a period spanning a little under 3 years (Eenovators Ltd, 2021).
2. Data Reporting
The platform provides the possibility for data reporting drawing not just from the team’s experience with various data science approaches, but from the team’s vast knowledge in the field of energy management, energy training, and energy auditing for a vast variety of industries across Africa.
The availability of constant reports provides a viable tracking mechanism for energy consumption allowing for the availability of back-stopped data crucial in providing the client with vital information on the various sections considered for energy management approaches. Clients are more at ease when they can identify where the energy purchased goes.
3. Specialized tools
The Eagles Platform has in-built specialized tools to handle energy performance analytics drawing from guidelines prescribed by the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocols as well as the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) to provide a verifiable performance outlook.
The platform can apply regressive analytics both simple multiple linear across selected sections of the data collected by the former to provide insights into energy performance as prescribed by the AEE. The models developed by the system are a crucial precursor to measurement and verification procedures crucial in determining the magnitude of savings achieved from energy efficiency projects.
The performance analytics section of the platform provides a multitude of tools that cover more than what the ESCO model requires and dives a little deeper to provide both parties with analytics crucial to assuring both parties within the project of its straightforward nature.
The Eagles Platform’s developers are also working on even more specialised tools with a special interest in the measurement and verification process to provide an end to end solution for the most crucial section of the ESCO model. This module will draw from the platform’s performance analytics tool among other available specialized tools to provide clients with an open, verifiable, and robust tool crucial to increasing the possibility that clients will trust this new but crucial model for ensuring energy management is a win-win for all parties involved.
Eenovators Ltd is working in collaboration with four strategic partners ENSO IMPACT LIMITED, ENERGYPRO LIMITED, LIFESKILLS LIMITED, and (IEPA) INSTITUTE OF ENERGY PROFFESSIONALS AFRICA and are currently engaged by GIZ (the German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) in an exciting energy management project that cuts across various aspects of the same through a fund dubbed the “Water and Energy for Food.” The program cuts across the entire spectrum of energy management from training, through audits, all the way to the ESCO model in specialized packaging in the form of the “ESCO in a Box” approach. The program will involve the installation of energy monitors and analytics through the Eagles Energy Management Platform. The Platform will be instrumental across the entire process as a tool for training, as a data collection and analytics tool for Auditing, and as a measurement and verification tool for the “ESCO in a Box” approach.
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Augustins, E., Jaunzems, D., Rochas, C., & Kamendersb, A. (2018). Managing energy efficiency of buildings: analysis of ESCO experience in Latvia. Energy Procedia, 614-623.
Carvallo, J. P., Murphy, S. P., Stuart, E., Larsen, P. H., & Goldman, C. (2019). Evaluating project level investment trends for the U.S. ESCO industry : 1990–2017. Energy Policy, 139-161.
Eenovators Ltd. (2021, March 25). Eagles Program. Retrieved from Eenovators Energy Portal: https://portal.eenovators.com/