Innovation

A Savvy Idea To Monitor Energy Usage

A man in a business suit touching a lightbulb

In the latest of our Q&As with the innovators selected for the inaugural Startupbootcamp Energy Australia Accelerator program, we talk to Oscar Omegna, Chief Technology Officer of SavvyBI. Omegna explains how SavvyBI’s enterprise software is helping some of Australia’s biggest companies rethink their energy consumption.

Visually, SavvyBI’s enterprise software seems to offer a great deal of information. Can you explain the benefits in simple terms?

What we do is collect different types of data – meteorological data, meter data, market data – and transform it via the software into a strict “no digging” visualisations that allow our customers to understand their energy consumption and to save money. Our current customers consume a significant amount of energy – between $5 million and $250 million a year – so a big part of what we do is help them understand what their consumption might be in the future, which allows them to budget.

What’s a specific example of how the software can help companies plan?

Let’s say there’s a hot day and your company’s energy consumption jumps 22 points. Our application can show you where that extra energy is being consumed and predict how much energy you’ll use tomorrow and the day after that. It can also provide you with advice about which machines to switch off when. Another example: if your company has multiple sites, the software can analyse various sources of data to determine which sites would benefit most from alternatives sources of energy such as solar, wind or batteries.

You mention solar – should all companies be looking at generating some of their electricity on site?

Everyone should look at it – especially companies such as Coles that occupy large amounts of land and therefore have ample rooftops. But you have to do your due diligence. If you go all out today and spend $20 million on solar batteries, but you haven’t figured out where and how to best install your panels, you may never recover that investment. 

Many people would assume that large companies would already be pretty smart about their energy usage. In your experience, is that the case?

Some are, but there is still a legacy of issues that need to be addressed with current technology. Most companies don’t understand energy. They think of energy consumption as an invoice at the end of the month, and they often get bill shock. We’re an Enterprise Software as a service, so our business model is based on monthly fees. That makes us very attractive to customers spending big money on energy. If you spend between $5 million and $250 million a year, our cost becomes a no-brainer. For less than two percent of that we can help our customers save millions of dollars. Not to mention the ongoing improvements we can add to any business by helping shape their energy strategy – from future proofing to making them energy efficiency leaders in their industries.

 How do you envisage your company growing over the course of 2018?

We’re very much in the process of scaling our operations. We’ve been operating in the market for 13 months and have signed on a dozen clients, but we’d like to reach at least 22 by the end of the year. We also want to work with our current customers to enhance their experience and multiply the benefits. The more data they put into the platform, and the more modules they add, the more money they can save.