Facility Management

Savings as a service: Could it be the future of facilities investment?

If you're sitting in a corporate office building right now, you may want to bring your facilities department coffee. Or hugs. According to Joe Costello, CEO of Enlighted, facilities are too often last in line for budgets, if they're in line at all.

Speaking from the main stage at VERGE 2014 in San Francisco, Costello explained that his company installs energy and environmental monitoring and control systems for commercial real estate. The products were effective, but the company hit a snag: sales just weren't picking up.

"We've never, ever, ever lost a customer on a technical basis," he said. The problem, he continued, was financial.

"The big problem is capital. This is considered a facilities upgrade," he said. "In almost every corporation, the facilities group is just about dead last in getting capital for funding any project."

To solve the problem, Enlighted invented the Global Energy Optimization (GEO) program where customers don't use any of their own capital to buy Enlighted's system. To do this, GEO borrows capital from investors, and uses the resultant future energy savings as the asset to borrow against.

"Somebody else's capital will be used to finance your [facilities upgrade]," Costello said. "We are marrying people with a lot of money who want a decent return that's steady with people who don't want to spend money on their facilities."