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How to eliminate wasted energy

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In the lead up to COP26 this year, we’ll be showcasing each of the Tech For Our Planet startups. In an interview with measurable.energy’s CEO & Co-Founder, Dan Williams, we discover how The m.e Platform is designed to eliminate all wasted energy and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from buildings, automatically and without any extra burden to occupants. 

1. What is your startup's mission and why did you embark on this venture?

measurable.energy’s simple aim is to eliminate all wasted energy and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from buildings, automatically and without any extra burden to occupants. 

The m.e Platform focuses on Small Power, sometimes known as Plug Load power, which can account for up to 40% of a commercial buildings’ energy consumption. What surprised us is that there is no useful management system for Small Power. Even more shocking, is that around half of all Small Power can be classed as wasted energy and GHG emissions!  The m.e Platform is designed to simply fit into this infrastructure and management gap, automatically identifying Small Power wasted energy and controlling it, reducing total energy costs and GHG emissions by over 20%, provide a ~3-year payback, and boost occupant sustainability behaviour. 

2. What makes your startup stand out from the crowd?

Our approach has and is still fuelled by a frustration of not enough tangible action being taken to improve sustainability; measurable.energy was designed from day 1 to make real, measurable impact. The most important value of the company, set from the beginning, is to take tangible action on improving environmental sustainability, and never to just suggest action and move on to the next project as is so common today. We’ve had to develop hardware, not just software, to make sure we can enable our measured and proven impacts, and not have to rely on an assumed ‘smart infrastructure’. Today is about making action happen, not just looking at pretty dashboard or analysing a report. 

3. How will your technology help to achieve netzero targets?

measurable.energy was founded to quantify and manage environmental impact, it’s in our name, in our technology and in our business plan. Our business only succeeds if our technology reduces energy consumption and related GHG emissions. We exist to make a measurable impact to environmental sustainability, not just suggest it.

If the UK is serious about reaching Net Zero, Small Power (SP) efficiency will simply be an absolute requirement. Our measurement technology is accurate and more so than any current building energy meter, supplying data 3 times per second. Plug load or SP in buildings can’t currently be measured accurately, let alone controlled. Yet, we know it accounts for ~40% of a commercial building's total energy and emissions and up to half could be pure waste! We are enabling measurement of SP impact on energy and emissions and providing an automated way to eliminate the wasted energy that exists there. This comes with a 3-year payback on investment too. 

m.e could potentially reduce every commercial building’s total energy and GHG emissions by 10-15%! Our own building energy model, informed by audits and real data from our recent and current pilots, highlights the kind of impact we can have on total emissions. For example, a 2,000 occupant UK office could reduce annual Small Power emissions by 75 tonnes of CO2e (a SP reduction of 34%). This can be further enhanced in two ways. Firstly, using our Demand Side Response (DSR) 'Virtual Load' system which allows energy use to be targeted at times of high 'renewable energy' and offers a potential additional 20% energy cost reduction. Secondly, our technology targets the power use behaviours of building occupants, using our App and Impact Indication systems, we aim to create a wider and ‘viral’ impact for our users. 

Our Tap for Power™ and Impact Indicator features, a user registration and emission information system respectively, also allow m.e to further purvey sustainability impacts through behaviour change. We want to make electricity more tangible to occupants, allowing people to realise what direct impact they are having and providing ways to manage that. This behaviour is likely to persist not just in the workplace, but at home too.

4. What are your plans for the future?

We recently received investment that’s enabled us to begin our scaleup journey. Our long term goal is replace every power socket, everywhere with our technology. We’re starting in the UK with a public launch in mid-22. Our European and US launch will follow soon after too. A little closer to home our next 12 months are focused on establishing our global hardware supply chain in a world that’s facing difficulties with technology supply chains. Plus this supply chain needs to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. We’re also seeking further launch customers for 2022 and beyond!

5. What do you think is most important about COP26 this year?

This COP comes at a crucial time when the world is learning to deal with Covid, facing the realities of how delicate supply chains are, and an invigorated focus on environmental sustainability. Amongst this, especially in the UK, we’re facing energy supply issues, the realities of renewable energy and the ever-growing daily impacts of climate change. 

As a nation, continent, group of society’s, world, etc… with all of the issues we face now, we could simply fall back on what we know, such as making local coal stations, following what’s cheapest for supply chains or reverting to a focus on profit over environment. I think COP26 is vitally important in reminding and showing everyone on the planet that even facing the deep issues we have right now, a focus and drive towards action based positive sustainability will only improve all our situation.

6. Advice for CleanTech startup founders?

Don’t keep your idea within a bubble of other similar ideas – it’s the worst environment to grow a company. Share, get feedback, get bruised and beaten up – it’s all part of the journey. The end result will either shine, or you’ll know why it didn’t. Take the hard route and tackle the biggest issues, it’s so fulfilling to take a risk and develop. 

The Tech For Our Planet - Startup Showcase will showcase the leading digital solutions that can help us reach Net Zero. Tickets to the showcase can be obtained via the official COP26 website on 31st October.

Author

Gemma Osei-Antwi
Digital Content Intern

Nov 8, 2021