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Big Data for Big Savings: ACEEE Report Outlines the Future of Energy Efficiency

When the Ontario government released its Long Term Energy Plan at the beginning of December, the message was loud and clear: energy prices are going up, and consumers need to take matters into their own hands to lower their costs. Conservation is the key to unlocking savings on your energy bill.

 The simple fact is, the cheapest kilowatt is the one you don’t use, and companies are increasingly turning to efficiency measures to capture savings and lower energy costs.

While traditional energy efficiency measures (equipment replacement and process changes, for example) can be used to capture low-hanging fruit, there are vast, untapped efficiencies yet to be unlocked.  The use of big data analytics promises to refine our ability to save energy.


The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) first defined Intelligent Efficiency in 2012 as “a systematic approach to saving energy that marries traditional energy efficiency with wireless and cloud-based computer technologies.  These technologies enhance our ability to gather, interpret, and act upon energy information in order to improve performance and achieve new levels of energy savings”

A new report released in October 2013 by the ACEEEIntelligent Efficiency: Opportunities, Barriers, and Solutions – estimates that intelligent efficiency could generate a potential savings of $55 billion on energy costs for the Commercial and Industrial sectors in the United States alone over the next 20 years.  That translates to more than $200,000 in savings per year for the average industrial consumer.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The report outlines the economic potential of intelligent efficiency, its applications in the commercial and industrial sector, and the potential barriers to widespread adoption of the technologies.

I highly recommend you give this fascinating report – and its 2012 predecessor, A Defining Framework for Intelligent Efficiency a read.

We are at the edge of revolution in energy efficiency, and I am excited to see where the innovations take us next.  In my next post, I will discuss how intelligent efficiencies can be leveraged to save money and reduce energy consumption.

If you have any questions or comments please share them in the comments section below.