One innovation in building energy efficiency is software that enables virtual energy audits. So far, more than a billion square feet of commercial buildings have been analyzed this way.
The software is particularly good at honing in on low-hanging fruit, the simple behavioral changes or operational tweaks that achieve immediate results and are harder to identify through traditional on-site audits.
"More important, these savings often can be achieved without complicated financial decisions and intrusions from third-party contractors," said Jim Borri, vice president of sales for FirstFuel. "Paybacks are nearly instantaneous in many cases."
"The commercial efficiency industry is focused mostly on retrofits with potentially high returns but often large capital outlays. Remote analytics can, however, uncover an entirely new set of energy savings for customers," he said.
Utilities like it because customers then view them as having valuable information. That's because utilities can use the software to provide customers with custom recommendations and actionable information, rather than just hollow energy-savings pitches.
The software can eliminate costly on-site visits or complement those visits, which generally can provide more detailed information.
Virtual auditing software remotely analyzes a building's electricity use. It can deliver large-scale operational energy efficiency opportunities across entire commercial building portfolios.