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Hot Summer Days with BuildingIQ’s Cool Hand of Big Data

Building IQ continues to attract interest  – this time from Australian Popular Science

We all know the feeling of walking into an air-conditioned office building on a hot summer’s day. It’s 94º outside. It’s 64º inside. Suddenly, you need a knit sweater just to sit at your desk. (I know someone who used to bring a space heater to work — in August.)

Aside from being uncomfortable, this is horrifically inefficient. The low hum of the air conditioner is the sound of coal being burned and money being spent to make you miserable at work. BuildingIQ is trying to change that. Their weapon of choice? Machine Learning.

Read the full article at Australian Popular Science here

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BuildingIQ acquires core technology from CSIRO

BuildingIQ (ASX: BIQ) today announces the acquisition of core technology, comprised of the OptiCool and ComfortSENSE subsystems and the interface in-between, from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for approximately AUD$500,000.

Read the entire story at reneweconomy.com.au

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NYSERDA to Deploy BuildingIQ’s Predictive Energy Optimization Platform Across 25 Buildings

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announces its partnership with BuildingIQ (ASX:BIQ) and Energy Solutions to implement a scaled deployment of BuildingIQ’s Predictive Energy OptimizationTM (PEO) platform as part of the Emerging Technology Accelerated Commercialization Commercial-Institutional (ETAC-CI) program. This initiative supports market adoption of energy-saving and load-reduction technologies through high-impact, statewide demonstrations and aligns with Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy. It offers training and certification on BuildingIQ’s cloud-based PEO platform, as well as up to $20,000 per building for installation. The pilot will run until fall 2017 or until incentive funds expire.

Full article viewable at Business WIre

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Three Exto Partners’ businesses have been listed in Australia’s top 50 tech companies: BuildingIQ, Airtasker and Hey You

The inaugural Tech Pioneers Report ranks some of Australia’s most well-known startups based on how much capital they’ve raised, along with factors such as their product and customer service.

Building IQ, Airtasker and Hey You all feature in the top 50  tech companies
The full article can be read at Smart Company

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BuildingIQ and AMP Technologies Enter Strategic Relationship

BuildingIQ and AMP Technologies Enter Strategic Relationship to Optimize Commercial Real Estate Assets

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BuildingIQ, a leading energy management software company, today announces a strategic relationship with AMP Technologies, providers of a leading suite of products and services for commercial real estate asset management. Through this new agreement, qualified customers will have the opportunity to use both BuildingIQ’s Predictive Energy OptimizationTM (PEO) platform and AMP’s Commercial Real Estate Business Intelligence platform to reduce operational costs and gain a key competitive advantage when managing commercial real estate assets, whether it is an individual property or a large portfolio of buildings.

“Those buildings that are not utilizing cloud-based technology to improve energy consumption and operations are using practices that are quickly becoming antiquated. BuildingIQ is essentially a subscription for creating free cash flow through energy savings that pays for itself.”

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BuildingIQ’s PEO platform is ideal for lowering energy costs and creating free cash flow with no upfront capital. Offered on a subscription basis, the cloud-based technology is able to predict and make real-time adjustments that lower the cost of a building’s heating and cooling operations by as much as 25 percent. By closing the loop between gathering data and implementing changes, BuildingIQ ensures that no opportunities for generating energy savings are missed.

AMP Technologies is able to offer a suite of products to address the other vital needs of the commercial real estate industry. The AMP Technologies Platform is a powerful yet highly intuitive interface that allows a user to monitor and manage individual or numerous buildings at a time. Through this cutting-edge enterprise technology, financial health, revenue strength, operational excellence and tenant relationships are all optimized to deliver ultimate performance. Finances, lease details, time mapping and other key data points indicating the health and efficiency of your organization can all be accessed within 30 seconds.

“Our partnership with BuildingIQ will allow us to offer customers a truly 360 degree solution for commercial real estate management,” said Neel Naicker, co-founder and CEO of AMP Technologies. “We are completely focused on driving our Users’ NOI and maximizing their competitive advantage in the most simple way possible. Our partnership with BuildingIQ takes these capabilities to another level of building management; now energy data can be combined with all the key metrics that drive ultimate performance to produce a full view of the health of your organization in 30 seconds.”

“BuildingIQ’s ability to generate energy savings is the perfect complement to those already streamlining processes through AMP Technologies’ offerings,” said Michael Nark, president and CEO of BuildingIQ. “Those buildings that are not utilizing cloud-based technology to improve energy consumption and operations are using practices that are quickly becoming antiquated. BuildingIQ is essentially a subscription for creating free cash flow through energy savings that pays for itself.”

With both BuildingIQ and AMP Technologies’ solutions in place, users will be able to generate savings, gain intuitive insights that boost results and drive revenue, ultimately leading to an improved client experience. The BuildingIQ-AMP Technologies business relationship is effective immediately and the two companies expect to begin demonstrating their integrated solution for customers within the next several weeks.

Source Business Wire

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Exto’s BuildingIQ Is One Of Autralia’s Top 32 Start Up Successes

Exto partners Building IQ has been recognised in a recent article from the  Australian Financial Review as being in Australia’s top 32 Start Up Successes

The full story is available at

http://www.afr.com/technology/australias-top-32-startup-tech-successes-and-why-they-matter-20151217-glpt9c

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Building IQ CEO Michael Nark Interviewed By INN Daily

From INN Daily

In December 2015, BuildingIQ, an energy management software company, commenced trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX:BIQ). It was the only cleantech company to go public that quarter, raising $20 million in its initial public offering (IPO).

In an interview with the Investing News Network, company President and CEO Michael Nark explained the company’s decision to go public, articulating the pros and cons of a cleantech IPO.

The Full interview can be read  at INN Daily here

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Building IQ Experiences Strong Growth

Sourced from Business Wire

SYDNEY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BuildingIQ, a leading energy management software company, today announces key achievements that demonstrate its significant growth in 2015. The company has strengthened its position as a market leader within the commercial property sector as well as the government, education and healthcare industries by reaching numerous milestones, including:

“BuildingIQ has made great strides over the past year in pushing forward the adoption of smart grid infrastructure across numerous industry sectors”

Commenced trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: BIQ) following raising of A$20 million in Initial Public Offering

  • Year over year revenue and other income growth of greater than 300 percent
  • Surpassed 140 buildings under management and over 38 million total square feet
  • Future contracted revenue grew at a rate of $1 million a quarter in 2015, surpassing $12 million in total
  • Selected as a technology provider for multiple government programs
  • Attained patents for its pioneering Predictive Energy Optimization™ (PEO) platform in Australia and Japan
  • Recognized in Australia with a National iAward for Sustainability and in the United States as one of the 15 Smart Grid Companies to Watch in 2015 by Smart Grid News
  • Secured pilot programs with major United States utilities
  • Secured multi-year, long term renewals with iconic buildings both in Australia and the United States
  • Executed an agreement with Australia’s BSA Group to promote BuildingIQ’s offerings to its portfolio of commercial building clients

This year, BuildingIQ has seen notable success within the government sector, with its PEO platform being selected for numerous initiatives in both Australia and the United States. The platform was recognized by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as a reliable and cost-effective way to reduce energy consumption. Building on this commendation, the company secured partnerships with the City of D.C. as well as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Energy Solutions for scaled deployment of its platform.

Similarly, the platform’s measurement and verification (M&V) capabilities helped fortify its place in the Australian market, where it became an official way to directly generate Energy Savings Certificates under the New South Wales Energy Savings Scheme as well as an approved supplier for services by the New South Wales Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH). As a result of these initiatives, NSW building owners are able to receive additional financial benefits and incentives by using the platform.

In addition to government projects, BuildingIQ substantially expanded its presence among higher education institutions in the United States, deploying its management solution at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA); California State University; Jefferson State Community College; University of South Florida; and the University of Miami.

BuildingIQ also made progress in advancing its pilot programs with major U.S. utilities, including Xcel Energy and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E). While its work with Xcel Energy is still underway, a third party analysis of the SDG&E program, conducted by kW Engineering, verified the platform’s daily energy reduction and demand response capabilities.

“BuildingIQ has made great strides over the past year in pushing forward the adoption of smart grid infrastructure across numerous industry sectors,” said Michael Nark, president & CEO of BuildingIQ. “We’ve developed a cost-competitive, easy-to-install solution that can adapt to the unique needs of each of our customers, which has really resonated within the market. In 2016 we’re looking forward to continuing our growth and to further expand within the Asian market, thanks to the support of our partners, clients and investors.”

About BuildingIQ

BuildingIQ is a leading provider of advanced energy management software that actively predicts and manages heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) loads in commercial buildings. As the only supplier of patented Predictive Energy Optimization technology, BuildingIQ’s cloud-based solution is powering energy and operational savings in buildings with reductions in HVAC energy costs as high as 25 percent. BuildingIQ delivers measureable results and has received backing from tier one industry leaders, including the Venture Capital unit of Siemens Financial Services, Paladin Capital, Exto Partners and the Energy Division of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Recognized as a leader in its industry, BuildingIQ has received a number of awards most recently the National iAward for Sustainability in Australia. BuildingIQ is trading on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ASX code BIQ.

 

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Machine Learning to Create New Markets

Building IQ is featured in this article at Innovation Enterprise.com

 

Machine learning has taken a significant role in many data initiatives today. Facebook, for instance, is using machine learning to offer personalized ads, whilst Google uses it to learn about its users, and other technology companies are now able to crunch data in a fraction of the time.

Organizations have been looking at machine learning as something that has the most use in looking at optimizing its current markets, but this may not be the case for too much longer. Several companies are now using machine learning combined with predictive analytics to help expand into new markets and exploit opportunities as soon as they come up.

We heard about this from Wolf Rendall, Data Scientist at Auction.com, at last year’s Social Media & Web Analytics Innovation Summit. He discussed how machine learning is now taking a leading role in helping to predict locations, times of the year, and other aspects that will affect the housing market and hence have an impact on the site. He was finding that some areas of the site were drying up, while others were being flooded by houses;  and whilst some houses were very popular, it meant that others were being ignored.

To fix this, the team at Auction.com looked at trying to create a recommendation engine, similar to that used by Amazon. However, rather than looking at what might compliment what had previously been bought, it was looking at substitutes for what may have been missed. By looking at significant amounts of user data, it was possible to create personalized recommendations based on a number of factors, creating a far more robust and useable system.

Looking at a broader dataset allows companies to make powerful predictions, and when additional data sources are factored in, they become incredibly powerful.

A prime example of how powerful machine learning can be leveraged is in Utilities industry.

By studying the use patterns of specific areas or even individual customers, it is possible to predict the services they could most benefit from to both save them money and improve environmental issues. Drawing in information from the growing number of smart meters could see utility companies creating one terabyte of new data per day. This could even be mixed with other forms of data, such as heat readings from particular areas indicating poor insulation, or faulty electrical appliances. Companies like BuildingIQ, WegoWise, and Ecova have helped companies save millions of dollars by using this kind of data, and with more available, the market for this kind of work is only going to grow.

Another potential area where this can have a big impact is in Healthcare, where machine learning can help to identify where new healthcare facilities should be placed or where specific units could operate most effectively. For instance, Additive Analytics have been working on a machine learning model to help predict hospital readmissions and trying to predict emergency room admissions before they happen. If this could be used across a population, detailing where people come from for specific treatments, it would be possible to strategically place healthcare facilities where they are most needed, giving better patient care and creating better ROI for invested companies.

Similarly, using machine learning and predictive modeling to identify when people with specific conditions are most commonly admitted may allow hospitals to be best prepared for any potential influx of patients. By doing this, healthcare providers drive better care for patients whilst also cutting down on the potential costs of hiring in temporary staff or bringing in full-time staff when they would be under-utilized.

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Consolidations could signal a shift in the energy sector

Two major consolidations in the energy efficiency sector and a stock market listing could signal a shift in the way value in the sector is perceived.

On Wednesday, listed Queensland-based power company ERM Power Ltd told the Australian Stock Exchange it had paid $5.35 million to acquire Perth-based software company Greensense, which produces data analytics and energy and resource management software.

And last week French based ENGIE, previously GDF Suez, added to the growing portfolio of its subsidiary Cofely with the purchase of energy services company DESA Australia, which adds 340 people to its books, and taking its total staff to just under 1000. It also appointed a former legal head of the company Corinne Ong as chief executive.

On Thursday, another energy data analytics company, Building IQ, announced it had listed on the Australian Stock Exchange after an initial public offering that raised $20 million.

Maybe it’s the Paris effect, after the COP21 climate talks swung the arc lamp around to the property world, its huge share of emissions production and the fact that if we want to slash carbon then energy savings is the cheapest, fastest and easiest way to do this.

Maybe it’s just economics – a maturing market and the giants swallowing the minnows as margins tighten and competition equalises on a global scale. Either way, market sources say the cogs are moving.

“This region is pretty immature,” one source said. “It’s a maturing market. And the industry is very competitive. People need to go upstream and downstream.”

In the related facilities management space, the Spotless acquisition of the Utilities Services group in July this year was an example of a downstream move, he said.

Another sign of change, incidental or not, is that a woman has been appointed to head up the Australian operations for ENGIE – Corinne Ong, a former business development chief and former head of legal in the group.

There’s a third element, potentially – disruption and innovation in the energy sector and a recognition by the challenger to the status quo that it has to be nimble, innovative and demand-focused if it’s going to satisfy customers who may want wind or solar solutions instead of whatever is available on the regular grid.

At least that’s the view of Fabian Le Gay Brereton, chief executive of Greensense and co-founder of the company along with Pete Tickler.

Le Gay Brereton told The Fifth Estate on Wednesday that the disruption story was central to the deal and in particular to ERM’s recognition that the property industry is key to capturing the unfolding opportunities.

Part of what the purchase is about, he said, was “How do they engage with property owners?”

With solar and batteries coming online, he said, the utilities industry was more disrupted than the building space.

“They’re the ones having to innovate and they’re looking at technology innovation,” he said.

That’s where his company can come in – with a suite of data analytic tools to work out how energy is used in a building, where it’s being used and how savings can be delivered.

It’s how utilities sector is changing, or needs to change, he said.

Using less was one focus, but so too was that “you need to provide new energy solutions; it’s not just about selling electricity with a margin, it’s about delivering new energy solutions.”

Among the biggest changes, he said, was the shift to distributed energy instead of centralised coal-fired systems.

It fits into where the building industry is focused, he said, with organisations such as the Green Building Council of Australia looking to include a net zero certification for impact in energy, carbon and water.

The new model is also “more agile” and more innovative, big on staff empowerment and customer focus, on which Brereton said both ERM and his team were in synch.

For Le Gay Brereton, the focus will now be on “how is the energy used, where does it come from, local generation and efficiency and managing demand and we are the right partner to help with that”.

He said he hoped COP21 was a turning point in global sentiment and focus on energy efficiency. But the change of prime minister in Australia was also significant. When he and co-founder Pete Tickler started the company in 2009, the big driver for the business was climate change and carbon reduction.

Cost control was also important, but “we’re interested in climate change and carbon reduction is very much the problem we wanted to solve”, he said.

“Carbon was our big driver for the business. And then it became about cost and efficiency. What Paris does is bring the focus back to carbon.

“I do think there is a change. There is a change of the PM and the announcement of Paris and I hope the narrative matures around that.”

ERM started out as a single consultancy, based in Queensland, and has now grown to be the second-largest supplier of power to business and government customers in Australia.

Chief executive and managing director Jon Stretch said bringing Greensense into the ERM Power family was part of the company’s strategy and growth plans.

“Efficient capital management allows us to invest in next-generation innovation and technology, which goes beyond energy supply to smart visualisation of resource consumption,” he said.

He said the company supplied energy to one in five governments, businesses and industrials in Australia.

“Greensense is the next step in providing a real-time, in-depth view on resource consumption, beyond a customer’s ERM Power energy usage, to help our government, commercial and industrial customers better manage energy, water and waste.”

The move would be earnings accretive from FY17, with the customer solutions portfolio expected to provide about eight per cent of earnings by 2018. ERM has more than 300 staff and Greensense, which will continue under its own identity, had 13 staff, all of which will remain in the business.

ENGIE now a major player in Australia

The ENGIE acquisition of the Melbourne based DESA company comes after announcing in September it had acquired TSC Group Holdings with 600 mainly highly skilled technical staff. DESA which provides communications, electrical and energy efficiency solutions has about 340 staff and will take total staff numbers at ENGIE to just under 1000.

At the start of the year former managing director of the company’s Australian operations Vaughan Furniss now head of strategy and business development, could count total staff numbers on two hands.

A statement from ENGIE said the strategy was to provide customers with a “one-stop shop” for multi-technical services, asset-based energy performance and environmental solutions.

Executive vice president in charge of the energy services business line Jérôme Tolot said DESA was a “top tier provider in the country and counts among its customers some of Australia’s biggest companies”.

“With our expertise and our other businesses in power generation and retail, we have the opportunity to grow the business even further.”

Building IQ

In the ASX listing for BuildingIQ, the company offered about 20 million Chess Depository Receipts in the company at $1.00 each, with an indicative market capitalisation of approximately $85 million (on a fully-diluted basis), a company statement said.

The company’s base “predictive energy optimisation” technology, initially developed by the CSIRO, works with a facility’s Building Management System and makes real-time changes to heating and cooling based on a range of characteristics.

President and chief executive Michael Nark said there was growing requirement for efficiency and sustainability, and that building owners and managers were increasing their focus on controllable operating costs, such as energy.

Chair and on-executive director Alan Cameron said the technology offered by the company could offer a fast rate of return on investment.

The company was currently working on more than 3.25 million square metres of space in utilities, hospitals, universities, office buildings, casinos, hotels and government facilities.

This article originally appeared in the Fifth Estate on 17 December 2015 as
http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/business/investment-deals/consolidations-could-signal-a-shift-in-the-energy-efficiency-sector/79541

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