Energy Technology Leaders Join Forces to Help Utilities Better Engage Consumers and Manage Grid
BOSTON – December 7, 2015 – C3 Energy, EnerNOC, Inc., FirstFuel Software, and Opower Inc., leading providers of energy management software, congratulate the US House of Representatives for passing Section 1107 (21) of HR 8, which encourages utilities to deploy advanced energy analytics technology and requires state regulators to consider allowing utilities to earn a rate of return on their investments in such technology. This technology helps energy consumers reduce their bills and helps utilities better manage the grid, all of which improves the safety, reliability, efficiency, affordability, and emissions profile of the electricity and gas sectors.
"Energy intelligence software empowers consumers with the tools and understanding to lower their energy costs, and enables utilities to engage their customers to achieve improved grid outcomes," said Tim Healy, Chairman and CEO of EnerNOC. "I commend Chairman Fred Upton and the many supporters of this provision for taking action to ensure more Americans benefit from this cutting-edge technology."
"It's vitally important that our regulatory policies reward utilities for investments that deliver the best outcomes for their customers and for the advancement of the grid," said Alex Laskey, President and Co-Founder of Opower. "Congressional leaders have sent an important message: that the regulatory policies of yesterday shouldn't stand in the way of utilities that are making the transition to a cleaner and more customer-centric energy future."
"Utilities around the country have been innovating and planning investments in customer energy intelligence," said Swapnil Shah, CEO of FirstFuel. "This provision will enable their investments to be realized appropriately by their shareholders, as well as their customers."
"State of the art technology leveraging big data, cloud computing, and machine learning is now available to optimize the power generation and distribution value chain," said Ed Abbo, C3 Energy President and CTO. "Section 1107 (21) will help states accelerate the technology adoption curve and the transition to a smarter, more efficient, and more sustainable energy system."
By passing this provision, the House has taken a critical step toward addressing an outdated regulatory barrier that stands in the way of large-scale adoption of this technology and, in turn, increased economic benefits for all Americans.
While the software industry has evolved significantly in recent years, and software solutions are now predominantly cloud-based, or delivered through web browsers as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), regulatory accounting practices have lagged. Utilities are allowed to earn a rate of return on "on-premise" software, or software that can be physically possessed and used on a CD-ROM or a disk, but they cannot earn a rate of return on SaaS. This creates a misguided incentive for utilities to take physical ownership of software that needs to run on expensive hardware, instead of using SaaS. SaaS solutions reduce maintenance and overall costs, facilitate the ongoing installation of software upgrades by vendors, and simplify operations for users.
This legislation also recognizes that new poles and wires—for which utilities can earn a rate of return— are not always the solution, and that challenges faced by our modern electric grid can be increasingly solved by software. Allowing utilities to earn a similar rate of return on SaaS to pole-and-wire investments will level the playing field, and ensure that the most cost-effective investment is made.Our companies are leading providers of cloud-based energy analytics software:
- C3 Energy's advanced analytics platform and suite of enterprise software applications deliver end-to-end solutions across the entire smart grid, from energy grid capital asset allocation, transmission, distribution, and advanced metering, to the customer experience and energy efficiency programs. C3 Energy products enable utility operators to realize the full benefit of their smart grid and energy system investments.
- EnerNOC is a leading provider of cloud-based energy intelligence software (EIS) and services to thousands of enterprise customers and utilities globally. EnerNOC has saved its customers more than $1 billion to date.
- FirstFuel provides customer intelligence as a software-as-a-service to large utility companies and government agencies across North America and Europe. With an industry-leading combination of building science, data science, and software, FirstFuel helps utilities serve nearly one million business customers, with analysis across nearly 2 million meter points, and has identified five terawatt-hours of energy savings.
- Opower is an enterprise software company that is transforming the way utilities engage with their customers. Opower's cloud-based software has been deployed to more than 95 utility partners around the world, reaches more than 50 million households and businesses, and has helped consumers save more than $1 billion on their energy bills.
For media inquiries, please contact Robin Woodcock at EnerNOC at (617) 692-2601, Alex Kotran at Opower at (330) 607-5589, Katie Kennedy at FirstFuel at (617) 426-2222 and Kim Dion at C3 Energy at (650) 503-2200.