Canadian Companies Tackle Energy Efficiency at Work and in Home

by Tom Emrich | Startups

Good intentions but lack of follow-through is what we can conclude about Canadians when it comes to conserving energy from the results of a recent survey done by the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance. According to the survey, 75% of Canadians said they believed conserving energy is very important yet only 22% are doing everything they can to reduce their usage.

As it’s common knowledge that conserving energy is not only good for the environment but also saves us money, perhaps the main reason why Canadian commitment is so low is because we are not really aware of the choices we have to start saving.

Luckily, we are not without options.

Two Canadian software companies are tackling energy efficiency to monitor and even help control supply and demand of power in the home and at the enterprise level. Both want to make sure that when systems are not in use, the power is not being wasted.

Energate Inc., based in Ottawa, is North America’s leading provider of consumer demand response and home energy management solutions. With a smart thermostat at the center of their model, Energate software suite controls all of the home’s major energy requirements letting consumers manage power use and reduce peak demand without sacrificing on comfort and convenience. 

Like other smart thermostats on the market, Energate has their own mobile application, MyEnergate, which lets you control your thermostat anywhere in the house or while away from the home.

Energate recently announced that up to 1,000 homes in Ontario would be taking part of a $7.8 million project aimed to stimulate consumer activity in home energy management. As part of the program, participants will receive real-time usage data along with a fully programmable smart thermostat.

 “Ontario citizens know the value of advanced technology as we now embrace common technologies like smatphones—Energate is taking this to the next level by building smart applications for the global and local challenge of energy management,” says Energate CEO, Niraj Bhargava.

But the home is not the only place where Canadians can make a difference in energy conservation. Vancouver-based company, TSO Logic, just launched power management software to tackle energy wastage at the enterprise level.

This software uses application-level inspection to determine exactly how much of a data center’s power draw is going toward revenue-generating activities versus idle servers. This insight allows corporations who rely on data servers to save electricity without sacrificing performance, automatically controlling the power state of servers based on application demand.

“Most data centers leave all of their servers on all of the time, regardless of the actual demand. We think that’s like leaving your car running all day just in case you have to drive somewhere,” said Aaron Rallo, CEO and founder of TSO Logic.

Data center power wastage is a huge problem especially seeing that worldwide digital warehouses use about 30 billion watts of electricity, roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants according to estimates industry experts compiled for the New York Times,

TSO Logic has already seen over 50% of energy costs saved and a substantial reduction in the environmental footprint on the 2,165 enterprise servers they already have running their software during their private beta.

Arc Productions, a Toronto-based digital media studio, has been one of these companies working with TSO Logic prior to its official launch. With this software they were able to identify 56% potential server energy savings at the studio’s data center which houses more than 600 servers. Now Arc Productions is using TSO to realize those savings.

So if you are part of the 75% of Canadians who are looking to make a difference in your energy consumption and don’t want to fall into the 78% who don’t follow through—software solutions which give you power when you need it and savings when you don’t are a great place to start both at home and at the workplace.

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Tom Emrich

Tom Emrich

Tom is a freelance consultant and blogger based in Toronto specializing in mobile, tablets and emerging technology. He has worked with independent developers, major media companies and start-ups on successfully developing, launching and marketing digital products here in Canada and abroad. His professional passion for technology is eclipsed only by his personal obsession with emerging... more

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