Consumer energy data is vital to the energy transition, especially distributed energy resources (DERs). For example, a rooftop solar company needs consumer energy data to analyze bill savings from a potential solar installation. An electric vehicle (EV) charging company needs it to offer a customer special rates on EV charging.
But that data has long been incredibly difficult to access – available only in PDFs and hard-to-access utility databases – often coming in very different formats and standards.
And yet 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, Arcadia 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 goldmine for DER providers.
A few important disclosures: Shayle’s firm Energy Impact Partners (EIP) 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 grid 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 higher DER sales, or will high-level estimates suffice?
- Do we 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 moat that protects you from competitors in the consumer data space?
- What could the future of the DER 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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