On my last trip to DC I stopped by 1776, an incredible innovation center in the heart of DC, to connect with Craig Isakow of WegoWise and see what was cooking in the capital city. After hearing Craig’s personal story and the process of joining the company, I felt compelled to share with the community some of the incredible companies and great things happening in DC on the #cleanweb front.
Meet WegoWise – An impressive, quickly scaling company “helping you lower your electricity bills, benchmark your building’s energy usage, and understand your energy savings.” They want to revolutionize and improve the efficiency of the built environment.
After composing some questions, drafted by the #cleanweb community, I asked the team at WegoWise to give me their honest feedback! I hope you enjoy the read as much as I did! I especially like #12!
1. On average, what % of savings do you client’s save on energy resources?
The types of WegoWise users and the retrofit projects that they take on vary so much that it’s difficult to give an average. These types of retrofits include swapping old lighting to changing old toilets to replacing inefficient HVAC systems to installing renewable energy generation technologies.
For example, one of our clients, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit affordable multifamily housing developer and owner, tracks its 68-property portfolio in WegoWise. After looking at energy use portfolio-wide, it discovered that one of its developments, a 13 building, 137-unit development in Cambridge, Mass., was using 35 percent more energy than comparable developments. After an audit and subsequent lighting retrofit, which included replacing common area lighting with energy efficient fixtures and installing motion sensors in eight of the 13 buildings (ranging in size from three- to six-stories), the development realized an average savings of about 20 percent. Overall, the owner/developer is saving 43,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and $6,800 per year in energy costs.
2. What variables does WegoWise use to calculate savings or recommendations?
WegoWise normalizes building characteristics and weather and compares those buildings by energy intensity — for example, BTU per square foot or water use per bedroom. Visually compelling charts and graphs help nontechnical users — from owners to property managers to building engineers — immediately understand utility usage, identify the least efficient buildings, prioritize retrofits and verify cost savings.
3. What would you say is the best feature to cater to business/corporations?
Scalability. The beauty of WegoWise is its ability to inexpensively identify and prioritize energy retrofit projects that yield the best ROI. Because it’s economical — pricing starts at$72 per building for per month — companies can track their entire portfolio and receive optimal returns.
4. What would the WegoWise say is their best feature to cater to the average consumer?
Ease of use. WegoWise’s technology automatically retrieves utility bill data via a simple interface, seamlessly aggregating energy data and savings without extensive office work or cumbersome spreadsheets. You don’t have to be an expert to use WegoWise.
5. Do you send reports? If so, what do they look like?
Yes — we have a report feature for users to create custom comparisons of buildings and benchmark them against other buildings/portfolios in our database. There are three different report options: 1) Filter Report, which includes all buildings in a portfolio; 2) Manual Report, which includes only those buildings that a user selects; and 3) Year-Over-Year report, which allows users to compare usage in a single building over different time frames. Reports can be broken down by each utility – water, electric, gas and oil.
We also recently launched a series of premium reports that takes the data from our system and adds a human touch. These reports include Measurement and Verification, Building Health Reports, Annual Scorecards and Executive Financial Summaries.
6. How many energy partners do you have?
WegoWise works with building owners, managers, energy service providers and building efficiency programs for all types of properties. WegoWise’s technology integrates with more than 150 utilities nationwide. Some of our clients/partners include the U.S. Green Building Council; Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge; Massachusetts Low-income Energy Affordability Network, a low-income housing energy efficiency program for Mass SAVE, a consortium of Massachusetts’ utility companies; Liberty Property Trust, a $7.6 billion real estate investment trust; and multiple energy service providers such as Partner Energy. In total we have over 15,600 buildings covering 382 million square feet of space and have tracked nearly 1 million utility bills.
7. Is there a WegoWise iPhone/Android/tablet app?
WegoWise is written in code that displays beautifully on mobile devices.
8. What is the 1 goal WegoWise wishes to achieve?
To create a universal tool to improve the efficiency of the built environment, creating a more affordable and cleaner world.
9. What is one “fast fact” about the industry that WegoWise agrees with the most or would like to change?
Water is the most overlooked utility — and water efficiency upgrades typically yield the best ROI.
10. How is the WegoWise using social media to engage its stakeholders?
11. Which technology trends are most important to WegoWise?
The rise of inexpensive data storage has been key for us to build a cloud-based business and scale rapidly. Additionally, while Smart Meters are the optimum solution for building efficiency, they’re about two decades out from mass adoption. In the meantime, making retrofit decisions based on clear, meaningful and actionable building data is a powerful solution.
12. If the Wegowise had a superhero mascot, who would it be and why?
Professor X. While we’re not quite telepathic (working on it!), we are committed to deeply understanding building utility use to coach buildings into driving tremendous change.
I hope everyone enjoyed this as much as I and the Cleanweb Initiative team did! Please support Wegowise. They are an integral part of the global #cleanweb community. Big things are happening in the Capitol City on the #cleanweb front.
If you would like to get connected, have your company spotlighted, or have any questions you’d like to hear #cleanweb companies answer, send us an email and be sure that you’ve joined The Cleanweb Initiative.
Until next time…