Big data energy prediction startup Autogrid launched today. Autogrid is one of a handful of startups, including Bidgely and Stem, that are taking a software approach to wringing energy efficiency out of the grid. Now that terabytes and really, petabytes, of data are accumulating from billions of smart meter readings, companies are trying to help utilities manage that data and find some use for it, aside from the expense of storing all that data.
Autogrid’s first entry will be an application that performs analytics to improve demand response. Utilities spend a fair bit of money paying customers to turn down their power usage during peak times in order to balance the grid, and to save utilities the expense of having to turn on and deeploy peaking power plants. Autogrid says the program will help utilities cut the costs of their demand response systems by 90 percent as well as improve the responsiveness of customers participating in the program. So far the City of Palo Alto and the Sacrament Municipal Utility District are using the product.
Autogrid is part of a larger trend of software startups that are entering the ecosystem now that a significant amount of hardware is deployed. Autogrid’s software should also be able to integrate with smart appliances so that even more data can be fed into platforms to improve analytics and give utilities better optics into consumption trends of customers. At this point, it’s all about figuring out ways to use the tsunami of smart meter data to save utilities money.