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Serious Materials Launches Energy Management Service

Serious Materials, the maker of advanced building materials, launches a new division today that offers energy management software as a service through a new line of business called SeriousEnergy.

The expansion enables the firm based in Sunnyvale to extend its reach in the realm of energy efficiency in the built environment.

Now, in addition to developing and manufacturing super efficient windows, glass and other high-performance building materials, the company provides a software-as-a-service platform called SeriousEnergy Manager that enables users to monitor and analyze the energy performance of their buildings.

The company's new venture may surprise some people, but shouldn't given the extensive background of Serious Material's leadership team in various high-tech industries, said CEO Kevin Surace.

Also, in offering SeriousEnergy Manager, the firm is responding to needs expressed by customers, Surace said. Better energy efficiency management is "very important to our customers," he said. "We listened to companies (about) what they need and how we can deliver the best services to them."

The SeriousEnergy Manager is a secure web-based platform. It does not require purchase or installation of software, and it easily integrates with existing building management systems, such as the Cisco Mediator and smart grid company Echelon SmartServer.

Once sensors have been installed on energy-consuming equipment and systems in buildings, users can access real-time data about individual buildings or entire property portfolios. The energy manager pulls together occupancy analysis, historical and external data to continuously monitor energy use and help companies by charting energy consumption baselines, tracking trends and forecasting.

The company calls the advanced analytics of the system SeriousInsight, which is based on proprietary algorithms and alludes to the depth and breadth of the data provided by the energy manager. The core technology of the SeriousEnergy Manager comes from Serious Materials' acquisition of Valence Energy, which also was disclosed today.

Though the SeriousEnergy Manager SaaS becomes publicly available today, the service is already being used at more than 60 buildings in the U.S. and India, and has resulted in immediate energy savings of 10 to 15 percent with a "rapid solution total payback" in one to two years, Surace said.

The sites include the headquarters offices of the San Francisco 49ers football team, Echelon headquarters and The Harker School in San Jose, Calif, which uses the service for 15 buildings across three campuses and achieved 18 percent in energy savings by acting information provided by the energy manager and monthly reports on consumption.

While there are startups that provide similar services, Surace said no major firm has a similar offering. The price for the SeriousEnergy Manager SaaS also sets it apart from competitors and is "substantially less expensive than anything we know of," Surace said.

In addition, being an established company has its advantages in the energy efficiency and management business because customers want to work with firms with a track record, according to Surace. "They want a company that's serious in the space," he said.

SeriousEnergy flow chart
Images and photo illustration elements courtesy of Serious Materials.

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