Energy Solutions Providers Should Be Like The Stickleback Fish

Urjanet Inc  |  August 29, 2016   |  Energy & Sustainability  


For years, the stickleback fish has been a subject of fascination for evolutionary biologists due to its rapid adaptation and dynamic evolution, even in present day. In fact, the speed of its evolution is so noticeable that just recently, in February of 2016, researchers discovered that the stickleback fish inhabiting Lake Constance in Switzerland has evolved to resemble two distinct and separate species entirely.

The evolving nature of the stickleback fish should not be unlike the path of many energy solutions providers today. In the already saturated landscape of energy management and smart building software, providers in this space clamor for the attention of potential customers as new companies and products continue to enter the market. With many vendors promoting similar features and functionality, standing out amongst the rest is no easy feat. Even the ones that have attracted a considerable customer following are constantly moved to update, refine, and evolve their solutions offerings to grow their customer base and keep their competitors at bay.

One building management software provider by the name of Lucid, whose BuildingOS product centralizes all types of building data and presents it in a simplified manner, has garnered increasing attention from enterprise companies through an effort to truly understand what their customers want. Discussions with current and prospective customers led Lucid a conclusion: Integrating a particular data element into their application would be key to successfully expanding the adoption of BuildingOS.

“Our customers care about 500 kilowatt hours missing…but they really care about dollars. Everyone understands what a $20 bill is and if a $20 bill is missing from what you think your utility bills are, then you pay attention and red flags pop up. When we started to bring on dollar data, we got a lot more eyes onto BuildingOS,” says Josh Wentz, Product Manager at Lucid, in our recent case study. Lucid then weighed several options to fulfill this need, ultimately selecting Urjanet as its utility data partner in 2014.

Back then, Lucid opted for a scaled-back version of Urjanet’s Utility Data Service, using a custom driver to only push data regarding bill start and end dates, consumption, costs and demands. However, recently Lucid has been fielding new customer requests for even more data, such as itemized bills and the original PDFs of bills. Based on these requests, Lucid is working with Urjanet to expand the integration in order to bring its customers more in-depth data about their utility bills.

Having already realized significant benefits following its initial integration with Urjanet, Lucid is anticipating even more impressive results once the expanded integration goes live. In fact, Lucid already has new customer contracts that hinge on this latest Urjanet integration. Evolving BuildingOS to better meet the needs of customers continues to be a success factor for Lucid.

To the untrained eye, visualizing the market for energy solutions providers  is almost like observing a homogenous school of fish maneuvering through lakewater. Overlapping product features and a finite market are an inevitable reality in many cases, but overcoming those challenges and standing out amongst the rest requires that change, adaptation, and the propensity to evolve be intertwined with your company’s DNA, characteristics much like those of the stickleback fish.

To learn how Urjanet’s Utility Data Platform empowers energy managers, download our Solutions Sheet: Utility Data for Energy Management and Procurement. And if you’re ready to start leveraging your utility data with Urjanet, contact us today.

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About Urjanet Inc

Urjanet, the global leader in utility data aggregation, simplifies how organizations access and use utility data, enabling them to focus on their business. Our technology collects, processes, and delivers data from over 6,500 electric, natural gas, water, waste, telecom, and cable utilities worldwide.

Tags   Energy Management   |   Software   |   Urjanet   |   Utility Data   |