(Correction: To reflect iPad release and pricing model)
All buildings have to go through some assessment of how compliant they are with government health and safety standards. But that assessment process can take a lot of time and money.
KWhOURS hopes to reduce that expense by providing software to help companies make that assessment in a shorter period of time and with a lot less money. Boston-based kWhOURS, which started in 2009, is one of the start-ups that pitched at Greenstart's Demo Day held in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon.
Currently, companies use excel spreadsheets to understand how a building uses or loses energy, explained Greg Davis, co-founder and product manager at kWhOURS, in a brief interview. "They spend a month in the field gathering the data, and two months in the office transcribing that data into excel to run an analysis."
"This is a really inefficient process," Davis added. By using kWhOURS, engineers will be able to use their iPad to gather information in the field, and the information can be computed using the kWhOURS software, without that data having to be transferred from paper to an excel spreadsheet. By reducing the time it takes to produce an assessment, the savings for companies could be some 35%.
Right now, kWhOURS works with Siemens, which uses kWhOURS to simplify and streamline its service of providing energy, safety and bulding assessments for many companies, as well as the government. Siemens pays kWhOURS about several thousand dollars per user, per year. Siemens has about a dozen engineers using the kWhOURS service. Because kWhOURS theoretically makes the user more productive by allowing he or she to assess more buldings in a similar time, kWhOURS estimates that it can save Siemens money in the end.
"We can save a company like Siemens about $17,000 per engineer that can translate to a big company like Siemens saving millions of dollars per year," said Davis. And, this is after Siemens pays for the kWhOURS product.
KWhOURS is going after large enterprises. Besides Siemens, it has pilots with five other large firms, said Davis.
The company is also adjusting its pricing model. Instead of an annual fee, customers will be able to pay based on the amount of work they're on the platform. The change to usage based pricing came from a months of customer research. KWhOURS’ customers prefer this pricing model because it reduces friction to adoption, upfront costs to customers and aligns better with how the engineering services companies do work today.
(Image source: midlandenergyassessors)