Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Today, the Integrated Energy Project Model collaborative announced a major step in helping companies in the solar and energy efficiency markets more efficiently and easily allow their software systems to exchange critical information.
The growth of the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries have led to a wide range of websites and software tools for both consumers (homeowners and businesses) and service providers (contractors). However, there are currently no standards by which websites and tools, for both consumers and service providers, can readily share information. The Integrated Energy Project (IEP) Model provides a common language to share project and product information related to their customers, energy-related projects, and products.
kW Engineering, Inc., SolarNexus, Inc., and SaveEnergy123.com, the core team members for the IEP Model, announced the first public release of the model that enables this communication. The project has involved numerous companies that have a vested stake in making sure their software systems can communicate with those that have complementary functionality. These network effects, in turn, increase the value of those software systems. Other industry companies that actively participated on the project include Solmetric and Geopraxis.
“After working for over a year on gathering industry requirements, analyzing business workflows and use cases, and creating the initial model itself, we are very pleased to have reached the point where there’s a useful and immediately usable draft of the standard,” said Devan Johnson, Project Manager at kW Engineering, and the Principal Investigator on the project. “We have incorporated best practices from across the industry as we built the draft model.”
The IEP Model will simplify and streamline the collaboration process, reduce time and costs for both the consumer and contractors, produce a better ROI for both, and remove a key market barrier for the adoption of both energy efficiency measures and solar energy.
The effort to establish this industry standard is critical to enabling the rapid and efficient adoption of solar and energy efficiency projects, and in particular to encourage an integrated approach to deploying both in an intelligent way. “Our own solar contractor customers will see immediate benefits from the IEP Model-focused integrations we will add to the SolarNexus platform,” said Eric Alderman, SolarNexus CEO. “As SolarNexus and other companies begin to employ this new standard, those software systems will have an inherent advantage over others since they’ll be able to easily pass information between them.”
The IEP Model will bring greater value to homeowners as well as contractors and other energy-related companies that employ the IEP Model. “Consumers will be well-served by enabling greater collaboration among service providers,” said Tom Schaefer, CEO of SaveEnergy123. “Leveraging the IEP Model, consumer-facing tools like SaveEnergy123 can seamlessly share information with contractor-facing tools, such as business management solutions or building energy audit tools, which enables more rapid and accurate estimates and more efficient project deployments.”
The project was awarded a grant totaling $942,500 in April 2010 from the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Research, Development, Deployment and Demonstration (CSI RD&D) Program administrated by Itron. The CSI, administered by the California Public Utilities Commission, has a goal to create 3,000 megawatts of new, solar-produced electricity by 2016, moving the state toward a cleaner energy future and helping to lower the cost of solar systems for consumers. To help achieve California’s goal of creating a vibrant solar industry, the state legislature created the Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment Program. This program will invest $50 million to fund solar research and demonstration projects that will measurably reduce the cost and accelerate the installation of solar and other distributed technologies that could employ solar for generation, storage, or that could reduce the use of natural gas.
Companies wishing to learn more about the IEP Model and how to either employ it or work on the future definition of the standard are encouraged to visit the project’s website at http://www.iepmodel.net.
About kW Engineering, Inc.
Established in 1998, kW Engineering provides energy engineering and implementation services within the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. The firm identifies and implements well-engineered projects that save energy and improve the bottom line for their clients. Learn more at http://www.kw-engineering.com.
About SolarNexus, Inc. SolarNexus Inc. provides web-based solar business management software that makes it cheaper, faster and more profitable to install, manufacture, and sell solar systems. Designed specifically for the solar industry, the solution understands and automates the workflows and intricacies of solar projects, eliminating inefficiencies and facilitating collaboration among project team members. For more information visit http://www.solarnexus.com.
About SaveEnergy123.com. SaveEnergy123.com provides a web-based platform for homeowners to improve home energy efficiency and find qualified contractors to perform such work. Using SaveEnergy123, homeowners easily identify home projects that would reduce their energy bills and rank potential projects by the shortest time to payoff. SaveEnergy123 provides contractors with qualified customers that are interested in getting started now with home improvements. For more information visit http://www.saveenergy123.com.
Copyright 2011, kW Engineering, Inc, SolarNexus, Inc., SaveEnergy123.com. – All Rights Reserved.
kW Engineering contact: Devan Johnson, P.E. johnson(at)kw-engineering(dot)com (510) 834-6420
SolarNexus contact: Brian Farhi bfarhi(at)solarnexus(dot)com (510) 842-7875
SaveEnergy123 contact: Tom Schaefer tom(at)saveenergy123(dot)com (650) 996-6442