Utilizing big data and predictive analytics to help owners manage energy in commercial buildings is a trend that's not going away. While there's been a great deal of industry buzz -- with more than 200 energy management tools and software in the market -- the field of players providing IT tools to optimize energy efficiency will likely see some shakeout in 2013.
One such energy data company, startup BuildingIQ, received a boost of confidence this week in raising a new round of $9 million in funding from the investing arms of energy giants like Schneider Electric, Alstom, and Siemens.
BuildingIQ's software combines data analytics with machine-learning predictive energy tools to monitor building management systems in real-time to track and analyze energy use. The company's energy management platform optimizes building heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems providing property owners and operators with energy savings and peak load reductions of up to 30 percent, says the company.
The $9 million cash influx will be used to ramp up energy efficiency projects for commercial buildings in North America and Australia.
"The additional funding secured by BuildingIQ is validation of a new set of energy management vendors focused on specific building types or industries. BuildingIQ focuses on large commercial buildings, not industrial plants," said Paul Baier, VP of sustainability and research at Groom Energy. "It also represents an emerging set of solutions which extend and enhance the capabilities of existing building management control systems."
And the market for building energy management systems could prove lucrative, upwards to $6 billion worldwide by 2020, according to Pike Research.
BuildingIQ currently runs large-scale implementations and pilot programs with commercial enterprises, REITs, institutional owners, property management firms and utilities across North America and Australia.
Last year, BuildingIQ announced a project with NV Energy to help large commercial customers manage energy through an integrated software platform for energy efficiency and demand response. And the company has announced significant partnerships with leading building management system vendors Schneider Electric and Johnson Controls.
The financial boost for energy data upstarts like BuildingIQ is a clear sign that data and cloud-based information systems are slowly gaining traction in the building energy services market.
"We continue to see innovation coming from small, high tech starts and not the large, traditional building control manufacturers," noted Baier.