With energy markets turning volatile and costs rising, there is a dire need to improve and maintain energy efficiency in commercial and industrial utilities. In India, as much as 30 per cent of the total electricity generated is lost in transit. Also, energy accounts for 10-60 per cent of the operating expenses of a manufacturer. Hence, it is imperative to intelligently manage energy usage to minimise the cost.
Ahmedabad-based Ecolibrium Energy was incorporated in 2010, with the aim to optimise energy consumption for commercial and industrial users. The company does this by placing smart sensors at various points of the assembly line to gather data on energy consumption. Also, it has expanded its domain to include the optimisation of steam-, electricity- and gas-based consumption. The company provides energy intelligence through SmartSense, a cloud-based energy management software that analyses and recommends changes to commercial and industrial consumers and utilities for optimising their energy usage. SmartSense enables real-time monitoring of asset efficiency and helps carry out predictive maintenance, thereby reducing losses and production downtime. It enables industries to check energy wastage and cut down on their energy bills by helping them shift their power consumption pattern to hours when the cost of energy is low. Further, it enables consumers to centrally monitor and optimise their energy consumption across multiple locations by bringing all energy data (electricity, water, gas, etc.) on to the same platform. The company also helps power distribution companies meet their demand-side management goals by connecting with their high-power-consuming users and helping them manage power consumption.
SmartSense enables utilities to adopt advanced analytics for energy consumption and billing. It empowers distribution companies to take decisions on customer billing, grievances and outages. It also provides utilities with distribution health monitoring analytics such as Smart Transformer analytics for electricity networks, helping them reduce distribution losses and increase the life of assets. In this way, it allows utilities to increase their revenues. Currently, the company’s product is used by 96 industrial units in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and some other states.
Ecolibrium Energy’s first order came from Torrent Power, an Ahmedabad-based power generation and distribution company that signed it on for a pilot project. After this, the company got incubated by IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, and received an initial funding of Rs 2.5 million in 2010. It used this money to assess the market potential, and ensure a robust and scalable output, which finally led the company to commence its commercial operations in 2012. In 2013, Ecolibrium received angel funding of $1.5 million from Infuse Ventures and the International Finance Corporation. In July 2014, the company signed an MoU with Cyan, a software design company delivering mesh-based flexible wireless solutions for utility metering and lighting control, for developing a number of smart metering projects in India.
Ecolibrium Energy became a revenue earning company within 18 months of its inception. It has come a long way since then, from offering merely smart grid and energy management services in terms of power consumption to being a one-stop shop for all sorts of energy needs. In addition to tracking power consumption, Ecolibrium has started offering energy measurement services by taking into account parameters like humidity, temperature, pressure flow, etc. Anticipating strong growth, the company is now poised to enter the next round of fundings as it aims to provide energy sourcing optimisation analytics.
The services offered by Ecolibrium have helped its users in reducing up to 25 per cent of their energy costs. The company has also installed five of its devices at the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. Besides this, its product offerings have been installed across multiple domains and locations. Some of its clients are SteelCast (Iron and Steel), Intas Pharmaceuticals, Harsha Engineers and Asian Granito (Ceramics).
Going forward, the company is planning to come up with new products and expand its footprint in countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. It will also focus on specific industries such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, cement, and paper and pulp, and their value chain. Ecolibrium Energy’s business model has significant potential to benefit the power industry by reducing inefficiencies in energy usage through the adoption of information technology.