Andrew Campbell, Executive Director, Energy Institute at Haas
Data-driven Analytics to Better Understand the Industrial Energy Efficiency Gap
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY’S HAAS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS—The E2e Project (E2e), a joint initiative of the University of California, Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Chicago, has partnered with Lightapp Technologies to receive a $5 million research grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to conduct the largest demonstration and evaluation of an innovative energy monitoring system for industrial facilities. The project will provide industrial customers and policymakers data-based evidence on whether advanced energy monitoring is a cost-effective approach to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The grant was awarded as part of the CEC’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program, an ambitious effort to develop and demonstrate the next generation of energy technologies to address California’s clean energy goals.
“We are honored to receive this highly competitive grant from the Energy Commission,” said Catherine Wolfram, faculty director of E2e and the Cora Jane Flood Professor of Business Administration at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. “Policymakers are looking to energy efficiency to reduce the world’s dependency on fossil fuels. Yet our understanding of how individual behavior influences energy use is still poor. This project aims to narrow that knowledge gap.”
E2e’s partner, Lightapp Technologies, has developed a software-based, optimized energy management system for industrial facilities. This innovative approach to energy management relates electricity consumption within specific plant systems to the production outputs of those systems. Lightapp’s software collects data from shop-floor sensors, manufacturing software systems and external data such as weather, and creates reports that will enable users to discover, analyze, and share data about how they consume energy—and, more importantly, how they might use it more efficiently. The reports also identify specific ways to lower consumption through operational changes, repairs, and capital investments.
“Lightapp’s mission is to enable decision makers at all levels in the industrial sector to make financially driven decisions about their energy and operations” said Elhay Farkash, Lightapp CEO. “We are excited to partner with E2e to roll out our new technology to industrial facilities in California and show that by simplifying energy management through software, manufacturers can improve bottom line results and enhance throughput performance.”
For this project, E2e and Lightapp will test Lightapp’s energy-monitoring system in one hundred California industrial facilities. The project will focus on the facilities’ compressed air systems. Compressed air systems do everything from running bottling lines at breweries to powering tools in automotive factories. Air compressors and the equipment they drive account for around 10 percent of the electricity used by manufacturers. In some plants, compressors use more electricity than any other kind of gear. With a leaky compressor valve, money is literally disappearing into thin air. If successful, the technology can be used throughout a facility and measure energy consumption in every part of the manufacturing process.
E2e will structure the evaluation as a randomized controlled trial, where randomly chosen facilities will be recruited to participate and receive Lightapp’s analytical software. This arrangement will enable the faculty researchers – Catherine Wolfram (Berkeley-Haas), Michael Greenstone (University of Chicago), and Christopher Knittel (MIT) – to precisely measure the impact of the new technology and analytics on industrial facilities’ electricity consumption. By including a sampling of facilities from different industrial sectors, the researchers also hope to identify which types of facilities are more likely to adopt the new technology and gather information on potential barriers to adoption.
This project aims to generate rigorous and reliable evidence on the effectiveness of an industrial energy-management system. If successful, the findings can be used to encourage thousands of California manufacturers—and even more worldwide—to deploy energy management systems to save energy, lower costs, and reduce carbon emissions.
About The E2e Project
E2e is a joint initiative of the University of California, Berkeley’s Energy Institute at Haas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Chicago, three recognized leaders in energy research. E2e is a group of economists, engineers, and behavioral scientists focused on understanding the energy efficiency gap. E2e relies on randomized experiments and other state-of-the-art evaluation strategies to measure and enhance the impact of energy efficiency initiatives. E2e seeks to understand the difference between what is technically possible and what is practically achievable for energy efficiency in a wide variety of settings. Uniting the goal of creation of knowledge with a commitment to non-partisan outreach, E2e aims to create a cheaper and greener future. For more information, please visit http://e2e.haas.berkeley.edu
About Lightapp Technologies
Lightapp revolutionizes the way customers consume energy by exposing and enabling appropriate timely response on key performance indicators that were previously considered unattainable. Industrial energy usage is rarely optimal and about a third is wasted in the process. Though part of this waste is inevitable, the majority could be reduced significantly through managerial attention, operational agility, and real-time analysis and monitoring. Lightapp is an intelligent energy management solution for industrial manufacturing companies that helps reduce energy costs by 5%-27%. Lightapp serves customers in more than 10 industrial verticals in the US and Israel. www.lightapp.com
About CDA Systems
CDA Systems is one of California’s most respected compressed air system contractors, with more than twenty years’ experience in designing, installing, and servicing compressed air equipment. CDA technicians work closely with facility managers to design systems that cost less to maintain and operate, often using PLC automation and integration with plant control systems.
About Ecos Research, LLC
Ecos Research provides energy research and consulting, including emerging technology validation, and lab and field testing of energy-related innovations. The company’s principals have deep experience in utility and government efforts to achieve greater energy efficiency in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.
EcoVox takes building energy information and makes it visible and useful. Their engineers leverage data analytics tools to drive continuous commissioning processes at their customers’ facilities, spanning the commercial and industrial market segments such as health care, commercial offices, K-12/higher education, food processing, and supermarkets.