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☁️ "Using Building Management Systems to Increase Efficiency"

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Photo by Peter Herrmann / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Greg Smithies
Guest: Lee Hoffman | Co-Founder & COO | Runwise
Category: ☁️ Carbon Reduction

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[6:00] “[Runwise] really started because my co-founder was running 150 buildings […] in New York City. […] He was paying the energy bills for these buildings and there was literally no sophisticated financial analysis. On 150 buildings, he was literally just paying bills and would just eyeball […], why are some of these buildings using 3, 4, 5 times the amount of oil gas electricity that another building is on the same per square foot basis?”

[7:02] “What we basically figured out is that almost every building in New York City and pretty much the whole country is running on control technology that really hasn't changed since the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s. […] And so really, what we did pretty much over the last 5 or 6 years is we built a very much more advanced, but much simpler, cheaper and easier to install computer that goes into buildings and we built a wireless sensor network that talks to that computer. And then we use software to run those buildings more efficiently. And it sounds great dead simple, incredibly hard to actually do to make it work in every building every time to run the heating, the cooling, the water, everything much more efficiently. But the end result is we can on average, last year, on heating alone, we cut the energy spend by about 21%. […] On the average building, that means we're taking the equivalent of 8 cars of carbon output off the road. […] Next year, we're going to take something like 100,000 cars of carbon output off the road simply by running buildings more efficiently.”

[9:26] “I've seen different numbers […], but for sure at an absolute minimum 28% of carbon output is coming from buildings. So you can talk about cars and you can talk about a lot of really sexy things, but at the end of the day, these buildings are where all the energy is being used and where all the carbon output is coming from and if you want to transform cities, you got to start with the buildings.”

[11:43] “What we […] did is a lot like in cell phones, a lot like in cars, where we shifted from hardware to software. We had to vertically integrate, and we had to say, the only way we're going to break into this is if we can essentially make something that's 10 times faster, cheaper and easier to install and we did that by making it 100% wireless. […] It's a standard half a day, two guys are in and out thing, it’s installed at 1/10 or 1/20 or 1/50 of the cost. And then […] it's not about selling you equipment, it's about delivering results. We're gonna put this in and you're gonna pay us every year and in return for that we're gonna save you 5 to 10 times as much as you pay us. And if we don't, you're gonna stop paying us. And literally, that's been our business model.”

[13:02] “Everything in buildings is finally turning into software. And the companies that made these controls are not software companies, they're not service companies. And that is something that we happen to be experts in.”

[15:28] “We started with just one and two pipe heating systems. […] And then we did the next heating system, we did hydronic. And then we did three way vacuum until we had every single heating system, we knew every single time, we could guarantee we'd save 20%, on average, pay back the investments in less than a year, and we make you over 100% on your money every year. Then we said [...] the average toilet in New York costs $4,000 when it's running. There's 10 or 20 of these in a building. Let's focus on that next. And then we rolled out that service. Now we're working on cooling.

[16:15] “We're not trying to […] do everything, we're trying to just deliver value in return on each individual system we're taking over. Eventually, we'll get to everything, but it's a fundamentally different approach. […] We always call it the win win win strategy. If I go […] and I say, I'm going to sell you a BMS (building management system), you say, why do I care. If I say, I'm going to go in and just take over your heating, and I'm going to give you 200% return on your money, you care. And when I say the same thing about water and cooling, you care. […] If you can give somebody that gives them a win on savings, and as a byproduct makes the building easy to use and then as a third byproduct, reduces carbon output, everybody wins. But it can't just be I'm going to provide your technology for the sake of having technology, it's got to provide a real systemic, measurable value. And that's really how we've essentially gotten to a pretty huge scale in the United States.”

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google
🕰️ 19 min | 🗓️ 04/02/2022
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