Consumer energy data is vital to the energy transition. For example, a rooftop solar company needs consumer energy data to analyze bill savings from a potential solar installation. An electric-vehicle charging company needs the data to be able to offer customers special rates on EV charging.
But that data has long been incredibly difficult to access, often available only in PDFs and hard-to-access utility databases, and in varying proprietary formats and standards.
Now companies are trying to overcome these challenges by bringing that data into easy-to-use interfaces. Arcadia is one such company. Earlier this month, it raised $200 million, an investment that valued the company at $1.5 billion. Yesterday, news broke that Arcadia had purchased commercial energy-data provider Urjanet.
In this episode, Shayle talks to Arcadia CEO Kiran Bhatraju about how to build a business around consumer energy data — and how that data could become a gold mine for providers of distributed energy resources.
A few important disclosures: Energy Impact Partners, Shayle’s firm, is an investor in Arcadia. EIP led the company’s Series A and has invested in every round since. Arcadia is a sponsor of this podcast. Kiran is also a friend of Shayle’s, and Shayle is an Arcadia customer.
Shayle and Kiran discuss key questions about consumer data, such as:
- What are the most valuable data points? Kiran and Shayle talk about the grid’s carbon-intensity, on-time bill payments and more.
- What level of fidelity do we need from the data? Do we need precise real-time data to prove savings to customers and support more sales of distributed energy resources, or will high-level estimates suffice?
- Do we really need an ever-expanding pool of smart devices, or can we unlock most of the value with a few key devices, such as a hot water heater, heat pump and EV charger?
- How do you develop a proverbial “moat” to protect you from competitors in the consumer data space?
- What could the future of the distributed energy resource market look like? Kiran argues that DER providers will shift from selling widgets to selling platforms and packages as whole-home managers.
Plus, Shayle reveals the smartest business idea that he ever turned into reality.
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