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Case Western energy institute enters agreement with Johnson Controls to commercialize energy audit technology


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 8th, 2018

The Great Lakes Energy Institute (GLEI) at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) has entered into a one-year agreement with Johnson Controls, a developer of “smart” infrastructure technologies for cities and communities, to develop and commercialize a less expensive method to audit the energy of commercial or retail buildings.

The Energy Diagnostics Investigator for Efficiency Savings (EDIFES) uses smart-meter electricity datasets to perform a “virtual” energy audit at roughly a tenth of the cost of on-site audits.

“A great deal of attention is paid to supporting renewable energy, but energy efficiency is commonly the cheapest way to reduce electricity usage and carbon emissions,” says GLEI co-director Alexis Abramson. “Our joint partnership will enable further development of a data analytics tool that will make energy efficiency as easy to do as it is not to do.”

The EDIFES platform can quickly map a building’s infrastructure through an extensive analysis of multiple data streams, including weather, insulation and utility meter data. By contrast, current methods for energy audits involve going to a building, performing leak tests, infrared imaging and other procedures that can be expensive and take days to conduct.

“Small and medium-sized commercial buildings don’t have a cost-effective solution for an energy audit,” says Chris Littman, director of commercialization and operations at GLEI. “Those audits can cost $5,000 to $10,000 or more, but we can do it at a tenth of the cost.”

Under the agreement, Johnson Controls will pay GLEI for the rights to license the tool for a year and will work closely with GLEI toward developing and commercializing the technology.

“We believe the EDIFES technology from CWRU can drastically reduce the time to perform building energy audits from months and weeks to minutes, and at very low cost,” says Youngchoon Park, vice president of Platform and Data Science-Data Enabled Business at Johnson Controls. “With this technology, customers can use data which is readily available to perform continuous assessment instead of a one-time audit and provide trustworthy recommendations with high [return on investment].”

Source: EurekAlert!

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