Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Schneider partners on sensor based energy saving

William Payne
June 2, 2016
Energy management and automation specialist Schneider Electric is partnering with three sensor and IoT specialist developers to create new technologies for energy reduction and management. The three partnerships are part of the company's Silicon Valley Innovation Programme, an effort to talent spot and support start-ups focussed on energy and the Internet of Things. The three start-ups that Schneider Electric is partnering are based in the Boston and Silicon Valley areas.

The Innovation program will leverage Schneider Electric's R&D resources and support from Aster Capital, an energy and IoT focused venture capital firm, to partner or invest in new companies and engage Silicon Valley-based universities, to help expand Schneider Electric's open innovation strategy.

Schneider Electric has sponsored Aster Capital for more than five years. Schneider Electric has committed more than $50 million to the venture fund.

"IoT presents the biggest transformational opportunity for our industry as the trends of urbanisation, electricfication and digitisation converge. As we continue to evolve our company, we are excited by the new market dynamic IoT presents to use data to better drive customer advantage," said Prith Banerjee, Chief Technology Officer, Schneider Electric. "This program gives us the infrastructure to tap into new talent and business models to ensure we deliver the most cutting-edge solutions in energy management."

The first phase of the programme will identify and develop ten start-up companies by the end of the year.

The three partnerships are with Digital Lumens, PlanetEcosystems and OhmConnect.

Schneider Electric is partnering with Digital Lumens to add Digital Lumen's intelligent, connected sensors and LED lighting solutions to Schneider Electric's existing EcoBuildings offer.

Digital Lumens solutions will help Schneider Electric's EcoBuildings customers reduce lighting related energy costs by up to 90 percent. In addition to delivering energy savings, the company's connected system of lighting and sensors enable smarter buildings by generating data that can help customers be more productive, use their space more efficiently and manage energy costs across their entire enterprise.

Schneider Electric and PlanetEcosystems entered into a strategic partnership to deliver a superior customer engagement technology platform to utility service clients. These new services aim to enable extensive customer control of home equipment under the utility's brand, across different vendors' equipment, provide markets that make customer purchases and use of utility rebates very easy, and help customers understand and get the most out of their utility service. It also aims to make efficiency programs much more compelling for customers, reducing programme and operating costs, and boosts utility brand and satisfaction by enhancing each customer's experience and delivering new customer value.

Schneider Electric is partnering with OhmConnect to coordinate energy reductions amongst consumers. OhmConnect's software provides an interface for consumers to receive payments from energy markets for saving energy during peak times, creating a demand response revenue sharing platform for its users. The partnership starts with a recently announced pilot program for California residents.

"The intersection of IoT and energy is the sweet spot for energy management innovation. Internet of Things technologies not only feed directly into R&D, but create new business models that encourage greater participation among consumers and provide access to new revenue streams," said Paul Campbell, Vice President, Innovation, Schneider Electric. "We look forward to building our innovation program with leading start-ups dedicated to changing the face of energy."