New SMB carbon management software options

Summary:Most carbon management or energy management software that I get pitched about is quite obviously targeted at the biggest of the big enterprise businesses. But I've just spent some time this month chatting with two developers that are focused on companies that fall into the SMB sector, EnergyCAP and Kite & Lightning.

Most carbon management or energy management software that I get pitched about is quite obviously targeted at the biggest of the big enterprise businesses. But I've just spent some time this month chatting with two developers that are focused on companies that fall into the SMB sector, EnergyCAP and Kite & Lightning. Here are some of my main takeaways from those conversations.

EnergyCAP What's new for this State College, Pa.-based developer is the fact that it has just entered a serious beta period for its SMB-tailored offering, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application called EnergyCAP Express.

The software is targeted at organizations -- including municipal governments and universities -- that have fewer than 250 meters to monitor, says Chris Heinz, director of marketing for EnergyCAP. Although the company got its start more than 30 years ago with enterprise software, the new version is targeted at those with tighter facilities budgets, he says. Potential target customers include state governments, hotels or franchise organizations, he says.

What I found interesting about the features of EnergyCAP is the fact that it pulls in weather data and uses it to forecast for potential peak incidents or potential anomalies in energy usage. The software also monitors behavior and consumption against the metric set out under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star for Buildings program.

Heinz says that initial monthly base fee $49.95, which covers 25 meters. Each additional meter is 99 cents. For the next couple of months, however, EnergyCAP is offering a free trial of the software. After the trial period, you could have the opportunity at a 10 percent discount on the software.

Kite & Lightning The Seattle-based developer,  Kite & Lightning, is explicitly focusing the launch phase for its Unity Energy Management System (EMS) on the retail sector, notably restaurants. The system handles spaces that range from 5,000 to 50,000 square feed.

Kite & Lightning co-founder Bill Hickner says Unity analyzes consumption scenarios and helps businesses analyze and managed their electricity consumption across heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, lighting and other facilities management technologies. He says the company is actively seeking pilot sites for Unity, which evolved from integration work that the company has been performing for roughly a decade.

The solution, including the set-up services, starts at less than $10,000 with a three-year warranty, depending on the size of the space, according to a Unity independent sales representative). Hickner says the return on investment often comes within 18 months, compared with the three years that it can typically take. Kite & Lightning generally works in conjunction with a business owner's existing electrician to commission and set up the Unity system. These are buildings that normally don't have any sort of energy management system in place, Hickner says.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Software

About

Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

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