By Michael Kanellos
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)--they've been in the news a bit in the last year--has adopted a suite of building management tools from EnerNoc (NASDAQ:ENOC), a notable step in that company's plan to become a full-service energy services firm.
The company's monitoring based commissioning software harvests data at five minute intervals at 8,000 nodes in the bank's offices. The data then gets mined to devise efficiency strategies. So far, EnerNoc claims it has identified $100,000 in savings. Commercial buildings consume about 20 percent of the energy in the U.S. and a lot of it gets wasted: people leave lights on, heaters flip on on warm days. You can often have situations where the air conditioner and heater run at the same time. Several other companies--Cimetrics, Advanced Telemetry, Adura Technologies, Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI)--also sell various commissioning and monitoring tools. It is expected to become a fairly large market and will be combined more tightly with automation tools so that changes to a building's operations strategy can be made dynamically.
While EnerNoc has devised its own commissioning tools, it bought Cogent Energy in December to accelerate the push into building management. Historically, EnerNoc has garnered its revenue from demand response services. Utilities pay it to curb power at industrial sites and large buildings to save energy, often in peak power situations. The utility pays for the service and the building owners and companies get lower power bills. EnerNoc recently reported a $26.6 million quarterly profit, its first since going public in 2007. The company manages over 3.1 gigawatts, about the size of a regional utility in some parts of the country.
In the past year, the focus has been figuring out ways to expand beyond that base. Last June, it bought eQuilibrium Solutions, a carbon accounting company. So stay tuned.