For the last decade, governments and private businesses have talked of grand ideas to reduce carbon emissions and stave off climate change, committing to a variety of future targets. But what does it really take to meet these targets? A company called Minimise USA is doing work on the ground to make buildings more efficient – from understanding a company’s consumption habits, retrofitting their buildings by investing in more energy efficient lighting and HVAC-R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) systems, producing energy and educating clients and their employees about how to reduce their energy consumption.
Minimise USA is an Energy-Efficiency-as-a-Service (EEaaS) company based out of Tampa, Florida. Grit Daily caught up with CEO Daniel Badran, a two-time cancer survivor who leads the operation, to learn more about how Energy-Efficiency-as-a-Service companies function. Badran has a strict understanding of the term “as a service”, claiming that only the companies that offer no capital outlay, take no collateral, don’t obligate the client to a loan or lease, keeps the transaction off balance sheet and include maintenance, are truly offering energy efficiency as a service.
The model is simple. Minimise goes to a client, looks at their energy bills for the previous 2 years, takes measurements to get a better understanding of the facility, and tests the equipment to see how much each energy consuming asset uses on a regular basis. This is all part of the investment grade audit Minimise conducts to get an idea of what retrofits and replacements are worth investing in. The audit aligns with the IPMVP (International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol), which provides an overview of best practice techniques for energy and water efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Then, Minimise suggests areas for improvement, and commits to investing in the project to ensure energy savings, aiming for savings of a minimum of 15-17%, to eventually reduce energy use by up to 40%. This means replacing inefficient lighting with new LED fixtures, more efficient heating and cooling equipment, solar panels, low flow water valves, leakage detectors and air quality sensors, etc.
The final step is educating the staff, what Minimise calls “Mindset Change Management” to make sure that the end user effectively adapts to the new equipment.
Minimise’s largest project to date was in partnership with the Hillsborough County School District, where as of March 2020, over 300 thousand light fixtures were replaced with LEDs, installed Ecope software to monitor energy consumption in real time, and significantly reduced energy bills. Sean Ewais, a Senior Project Executive at Minimise said of the NCOPA (No Capital Outlay Plan Agreement) model, “We don’t want your money. We know that you are going to have an energy bill. We know that we’re going to reduce energy, so we’re just going after saving from the energy bill to pay for the cost of the project.”
In addition to the office in Tampa and San Diego, Minimise has a global presence, partnering with companies in South Africa, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand, who are applying the NCOPA model to get maximum cost savings without having to make the hefty initial investment to make their facilities more energy efficient. Minimise’s contracts are off the balance sheet, and they do not take the equipment as collateral for payment, nor do they treat the agreement as a loan or lease. They’re making long-term investments, which include maintenance of equipment.
Minimise USA is currently offering double prepaid savings to clients during the coronavirus pandemic, something that the CEO hopes can continue on indefinitely. Badran prides himself on having partnerships with clients, and is not out to milk every dollar. He says, “The client should be very happy with the fact that we’re risk takers and we’re not risking their money; we’re risking ours, and in return we’re putting our technology where our money is.”