I Work in Energy, But Don’t Ever Pay My Bill …
By Brian Vaughn
I never see my electricity bill. The account is under my roommate’s name, and once a month, I pay him half of the total charge via Venmo. It’s usually $60-$90 per month;
My principal approach to managing our 2 bedroom apartment’s energy consumption is turning off the thermostat and lights when I leave for work, manually turning off the “heat dry” mode on the dishwasher, and doing relatively large loads of laundry. But no matter what steps I take, I cannot quantify in exact terms these actions’ impact on the bill that arrives monthly in our North Philly mailbox.
I live in an apartment built with disparate systems, but my work at STRATIS IoT is focused on building a future in which those systems are connected. One in which Residents are signaled and incentivized to be a more conscious energy consumer (or let an algorithm help shift that behavior).
That future was on abundant display last week in Austin, Texas during the Parks Associates Smart Energy Summit. STRATIS’ CEO, Felicite Moorman, shared her perspectives on the unique challenges and opportunities in energy management for apartments during a morning panel.
And for me, a business development professional in energy, I gained a much needed perspective on how to leverage STRATIS’ unique product with opportunities for enabling a smart energy economy. I also learned that many energy consumers are just like me, and hardly ever glance at their utility bill.
I’ll summarize my findings in three points:
A promising start
Energy efficiency and integrated renewables enabled by IoT is in its infancy as a market.
I argue this is because smart device adoption has reached less than 20 percent of broadband-connected households, and because energy providers are still adapting their older models to a new market situation.
Parks Associates 2019
Market Rules Shape Market Opportunities
Opportunities to innovate in the smart energy space are more boundless where:
A state’s electricity and natural gas markets are deregulated, or;
In states with aggressive EE/renewable portfolio standard goals (ex. Green Mountain Power in VT)
Under-addressed Customers Intersect with Greatest Potential for Impact
Apartment buildings and their residents are ideal participants energy providers’ vision for a smarter grid: electric vehicle charging, targeted load control. Demographically, apartment residents are young and tech savvy. Erika Diamond’s slide from her keynote about successful DR programs indicate to me that young apartment dwellers like me are served by siloed systems, but would prefer a smarter solution.
Brian is working with smart buildings and energy efficiency at STRATIS IoT. He is interested in the intersection of urban design, energy, and transportation.
STRATIS is an Inc. 5000 “Fastest Growing Company in America” and an Entrepreneur 360 “Best Company in America.” STRATIS enables smart apartments and intelligent buildings and is the only platform of its kind built for the complexities of multifamily and student housing. Since launch, STRATIS has installed in 300,000 apartments across the U.S. To get more information visit: STRATISIoT.com.