[Tech30] How Energos is using AI to help companies embrace sustainability in energy consumption
Founded by Rajesh Solanki and Anees Mir, San Francisco and Mumbai-based Tech30 startup Energos is solving the decentralisation of energy generation using AI-powered algorithms.
Today, large commercial and industrial (C&I) companies are setting up their own renewable energy assets, including storage and EV charging, and investing in energy efficiency in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint.
As a result, oil and gas companies, and utilities and energy solution providers who have been serving them are now optimising themselves to suit these demands by setting up and managing renewable energy resources. But, as energy generation gets decentralised, demand reduction, shifting, and load management have become more complex, especially due to the intermittent availability of green energy.
Companies have to look for greener solutions with intermittent supply, managing grid reliance, and integrating storage and EV charging in their energy mix. It also means delivering value-added services to these C&I customers to reduce peak loads, forecast generation, analyse plant efficiency, maintain a demand-supply balance, and automate the flow of energy.
Enter Energos, a startup whose tech can scale up across multi grids. The San Francisco and Mumbai-based startup provides end-to-end artificial intelligence (AI) services to optimise the energy flow on both, the demand and supply sides.
Its performance-based business models help C&I customers achieve sustainability and carbon reduction goals faster.
The founders and the solution
Founded by Rajesh Solanki and Anees Mir in 2010, Energos is built on its founders’ vision of helping the world transition to a low-carbon energy future. However, it is important to note that the business didn’t take off until 2014.
Rajesh is a serial entrepreneur whose previous ventures have been cloud-based access control and video analytics companies. Anees had previously worked in a German energy management company.
"Energos developed AI-based, edge-deployed algorithms for autonomous and proactive control of the energy flow and self-tuning. These algorithms are part of an end-to-end platform (including cloud analytics and visualisation) that can be used as is or integrated with proprietary solutions via API or standard protocols," Rajesh says.
Energos’s cloud platform comprises cloud-based analytics and data storage, AI-based energy specific middleware, avid control, and feedback loops.
"We are developing intelligence to automate the operation of the new energy mix of main grid power, renewables, storage, and EV charging," Rajesh says.
Distributed generation programmes need accurate forecasting and balancing of demand and supply. Storage - both on load and source sides - needs to ensure that power is available for critical loads but has minimum reliance on the grid.
With a solution that is autonomous and self-learning, Energos enables traditional energy providers to control and optimise with extraordinary convenience of C&I customer’s objectives around price, comfort, and sustainability goal.
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The scepticism of the early days
Energos was founded with $100,000 out of Rajesh’s own pocket. It took him four years to get his first cheque of $1 million. The startup has also raised $150,000 from undisclosed seed investors since then.
"In late 2014 or early 2015, customers didn’t believe us when we told them that we could bring their solar storage and consumption loads in one system so energy consumption costs would go down. We had to do free pilots to prove the benefits. But there is no looking back now that they are convinced. Our performance-based business model allows to easily validate our solution without a costly investment," Rajesh says.
Energy savings are the order of the day. Using AI and Internet of Things (IoT), companies are able to eliminate 40 percent of their monthly energy consumption costs. For scale, an average C&I company spends Rs 2 crore on energy consumption in a month.
A large-scale energy transition is under way all over the world, which means Energos has a global opportunity. "Oil and gas companies, and utilities are at different stages in their own readiness to transition to the decentralised energy mix. Only a few progressive corporations have initiated their own carbon neutrality measures. This means, that we have to go through relatively long sales cycles," Rajesh says.
The numbers speak for themselves
The startup claims to be present in over 1,200 locations across the country and its ARR is $1.5 million per year.
With global expansion in mind, Energos hopes to be in more than 2,000 locations in the US market in the next 12-18 months. At present, it is looking to raise its Series A round of funding.
The startup competes with US-based PetaSense and 75F. According to Market and Markets, the global IoT market will grow from $170 billion in 2017 to $561 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26 percent during 2017–2022.
At present, India has 27GW of solar energy capacity and want to increase it to 100GW. Also, several large corporates in India are including sustainability and carbon reduction goals in their annual plans, presenting a huge opportunity for companies like Energos. Clearly, the time to "Energose" is now!
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)
YourStory’s Tech30 companies list is an annual selection of 30 carefully curated and disruptive tech-based startups that we believe will shape the new narrative for India and the world. To get a complete overview of the 2019 Tech30 companies list, download the Tech30 Report here.