Teddy Sagi will invest $3 million in energy efficiency company SmartGreen, founded in 2014 by CEO Nati Freiberg. The company has developed a platform that uses machine learning and algorithms to analyze the energy performance of buildings in which it has been installed, thereby saving 25% on energy costs. Another advantage of the analysis is rapid detection and repair of malfunctions. Sagi's investment in the company comes after the system was installed in some of his group's properties in London, including Camden Market.
Freiberg says that the investment is designed to help the company grow in the international market. "Buildings are responsible for 55% of global energy consumption - an estimated $1 trillion annually. Only a very small proportion of the world's buildings have energy management and operational systems, although almost every large building contains complex electrical and mechanical systems, including industrial air-conditioners, monitors, sensors, and engines. These systems use up energy, and this is reflected in very high energy bills. The problem is that owners of the buildings and maintenance personnel lack the time, expertise, and knowledge to keep track of all of every system continuously in order to repair malfunctions and deviations that make the building less energy and operation-efficient. This is where we come in, and the potential is huge."
SmartGreen reports that several large customers are using its technology, including McDonald's Israel, Shufersal Ltd. (TASE:SAE), Electra Ltd. (TASE: ELTR), the electric company in Hong Kong, and HP. In July this year, SmartGreen signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Electra, which received an exclusive distribution agreement for the company's system in Israel, Poland, and Africa. This agreement is estimated at several million shekels, and SmartGreen's sales are estimated at $1 million a year. SmartGreen has raised $2.5 million to date, including a grant from the Israel Innovation Authority. The company has 15 employees in Rehovot, including developers, physicists, information scientists, and cooling and air-conditioning specialists. SmartGreen plans to double its staff in the coming year.
The entry of technology into the energy efficiency realm is not new; there are several Israeli companies in it. Grid4C, founded by Dr. Noa Ruschin-Rimini, has become a leading international player within a few years, providing artificial intelligence technology to power stations and electricity producers. In Israel, companies like GVK and Vortex Energy are installing systems in entities such as hotels and supermarket chains. A Ministry of Finance pilot indicated that up to 30% of energy costs can be saved, following which the Ministries of Finance and National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources initiated a plan to train people to take charge of efficiency in government agencies. The plan includes a model for remuneration according to success.
In Australia, an organization named Nabers has rated the energy efficiency of many buildings since 1998, including 82% of government buildings. The organization has succeeded in saving 50% in energy consumption and in reducing pollution by a similar rate in buildings in which monitoring was implemented. Naber founder and manager Dr. Paul Bannister visited Israel six months ago, and met with leading National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources personnel in order to promote the matter.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on December 6, 2017
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