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.

Catalyst is supported by Advanced Energy Economy. AEE is on the front lines of transforming policy that accelerates the move to 100 percent clean energy and electrified transportation in America. To learn how your business can play a key role in transforming policy and expanding markets, visit aee​.net/join.