The company message of Atlas Energy Management LLC is “you cannot manage what you cannot measure.”
CEO Saqib Haq says the goal of the company, which provides energy monitoring services and devices, is to increase business’ energy efficiency, reduce carbon footprints and save money on the bottom line.
“We’re measuring the wasted energy – making it visible,” Haq says of his 2-year-old company. “By doing so, we’re able to go in and manage it or reduce it.”
Operating from a downtown Springfield office, Atlas Energy Management works with about 90 clients across the country.
The company operates using what it calls the SMARRT Approach to energy management: survey, monitor, analyze, reduce, review and target.
Survey, monitor and analyze
Atlas is a distributor of United Kingdom-based Best.Energy’s software and hardware for energy efficiency. One featured product is Eniscope, a real-time energy management system that uses onboard monitoring and wireless sensors to record energy data and manage usage.
Once Atlas begins a project with a new business, technicians first install monitoring hardware and software to determine where the business is utilizing its energy and identify any potential waste. After that, the process can be done remotely.
Haq says wasted energy can be caused by several factors, including human input and faulty or inefficient equipment. Atlas Energy often works with businesses that already use a lot of energy, especially restaurants, though Haq keeps the names of clients close to the vest.
“By monitoring, we can find out every piece of information that we need. Then, we can decide what to do with it,” Haq says.
The cost to a business is determined by the size of the project and the approach for its service.
Haq says the process is meant to eventually become cash-flow positive for the client.“If you’re going to spend $5,000, how long will it take for you to get that $5,000 back in savings and then making money? Haq says. “We like to tell businesses two years, but in reality, it’s 14 months, on average.”
Haq says after 12-14 months, a business typically recoups its investment on Atlas Energy’s service and starts seeing financial benefits from efficiency measures taken.
Atlas Energy primarily bills for service upfront, but Haq also has adjusted the process for clients that can’t afford the cost out of pocket, like a school district the company works with.
The company created a shared savings model, where each month during a given contract, the client pays Atlas Energy out of what they save on their energy costs.
“If we save them $1,000 a month on their electric bill, from that saving they’re going to pay us,” Haq says. “We don’t want to do it one way or another – whatever works for them, we’ll work with them. Our goal is to make them more efficient, improve their bottom line and make them greener.”
Reduce, review and target
Haq says while Atlas Energy can monitor and improve energy usage of all kinds, electricity is often the main target. The most common culprit of overuse is heating, ventilation and air conditioning, which can make up 25%-30% of an energy bill, Haq says.
“We can control the temperature setting if need be or we have hardware we can install within the A/C unit that makes the cycle run more efficiently,” Haq says. “We’re basically installing a smart computer within your equipment, so it can function within a certain perimeter we choose to get the best results.”
On average, Atlas Energy clients have reported about 20% savings on their energy bills, Haq says.
Haq says he sees businesses market themselves to potential customers as a sustainable company that is making strides to be greener.
“People are getting more and more aware; the consumer is more and more aware. You’ve got to do something to have a greener earth, to be more sustainable,” Haq says. “If not from the goodness of their heart, but to get more clients. From a pragmatic sense, you’ve got to do it to attract a younger generation of clients. That green approach really speaks to the younger generation.”
Moving forward, the young company is monitoring shifts in the energy industry, including utility companies that are making their own efforts to become more efficient and sustainable. Haq anticipates continued growth of the business, noting the company’s revenue grew by 42% over its second year.
“One thing we’re noticing as we move, as the world shifts from one mentality to another – we see more doors opening up,” Haq says.
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