Ecological Apps

8 March 2017

Ecologic Apps, an energy efficiency tech firm planning to “uberise” the building energy services sector and make rating building performance a simple proposition, has been announced as one of five new start-ups to join the EnergyLab clean energy accelerator program.

EcoLogic founder John McKibbin said it had been a “bit of a journey” finding a way to market the company’s initial product.

The self-assessment app for households or small businesses is free and available online, however, substantial marketing has not been undertaken yet.

The company has also recently developed a business-to-business solution for building energy professionals to use in consultations. Dr McKibbin said the product was an attempt to “uberise” the building energy services sector, and aimed to “revitalise the assessment and energy services market” by streamlining the consultation process.

Another field Dr McKibbin said the company wants to push into is the growing momentum around energy ratings for existing buildings. With energy prices growing, real estate customers are now paying more attention to the energy performance of properties, he said.

So the company is exploring an offering for real estate agents to use so they can give potential buyers or tenants an idea of the likely performance and comfort levels of a property.

The latest generations of the apps use computational geometry algorithms that enable the creation of a 3D model of a building using aerial photographs, and then the creation of an advanced EnergyPlus simulation model, Dr McKibbin said.

He said while there may be some concerns the company is “dumbing down” the building energy modelling space, the products were about reaching the people that simply could not afford complex building energy audits or modelling.

In terms of the big picture, the fact the app enables people to achieve between 20 to 30 percent reductions in energy use through taking the suggested portfolio of measures could deliver substantial emissions reductions across the built environment, given broad uptake.
The company is strongly targeting existing buildings completed before the National Construction Code had energy and thermal performance requirements, Dr McKibbin said.

“We are all talking about energy prices, but the biggest lever for households to do something about them is by looking at the amount of energy they consume.
“It is important to recognise that energy prices are becoming a significant burden on low-income households.”