What inspired you to co-found Verdigris?
A few different threads wove together to inspire me.
Unfortunately, I discovered the need firsthand. While away on a vacation, my electricity bill ballooned to over $500 – I wasn’t even home! I immediately called my utility and they verified the bill was accurate but could not answer my main question of why the huge increase – there was no visibility into my energy consumption. I had to piece together some plug load meters, guessing and checking – eventually realized my pool pump was malfunctioning. It was not easy to do this and I began wishing for an itemized utility bill, broken out by device. If I had this, I would have been able to pinpoint the pool pump immediately.
I realized itemized energy usage would benefit companies as well, especially with rising electricity prices. The biggest limitation was transmitting all of this usage data, but I already had a solution to that issue from my previous work with my co-founder, Jonathan Chu.
When I became a father, my time horizon for the future shifted beyond my own lifetime. I became worried about leaving a habitable planet for my children and their children – a hundred or so years from now. It created an urgency in me to do something now.
Seeing the need for Verdigris on both the granular and larger scale, in addition to having the technology to solve this problem, I was inspired to co-found Verdigris.
Before using Verdigris, how were companies monitoring energy usage?
It was pretty hands on! People could spot check specific plug loads with amp meters. Smart meters from the utility provide high level usage information. These two data sources could be compiled together on a spreadsheet and tracked month over month.
Which types of data are you collecting?
We collect electricity usage data. It’s extremely granular both in scale and frequency.
What are a few of the insights and recommendations you’re sharing with customers?
We’re developing many different insights for customers – some examples are:
– This motor has bearing failure and has > 70% chance of failure in 3 months.
– These 4 days will be heaviest demand, consider disabling the ancillary lighting on floor 4 for daytime harvest as we see adequate lighting on that floor already.
– This sanitizing equipment is failing on heat cycling – may have an equipment issue.
– These critical breakers did not trip at their exceeded load and continue to draw excess current – high risk of electrical fire.
Could you share a few examples of the ROI your customers are seeing?
One of our customers, a large manufacturer, saw 39% savings across the 4 sites they deployed Verdigris systems. This was through implementations determined from our data and focused on reducing electricity consumption and minimizing equipment downtime.
More customer specifics and testimonials can be found here: http://support.verdigris.co/why-verdigris#customer-testimonials
Outside of Verdigris, what are a few AI use cases that you’re personally excited about?
Natural language generation that learns from your emails styles and can begin to auto respond to emails and requests for interviews. 😛
In more seriousness, we (especially in the Bay Area) spend a lot of time getting from A to B. AI has an ability to augment transportation that is exciting and could save time and resources.