A New, Improved Version of SENSEI has Launched

Cascade Energy’s software team recently flipped the switch on SENSEI 3.0. This is a MAJOR milestone that instantaneously improves the SENSEI end-user experience. SENSEI 3.0 puts Cascade’s team in the perfect position to accelerate future development and provide deeper benefits to SENSEI customers. 

Here’s a look at some of the key enhancements that come with SENSEI 3.0:

  • Improved performance. SENSEI 3.0 is much faster. In fact, we’d go so far as to say, it’s “lightning fast!” We are employing extremely fast database techniques and leveraging Amazon Web Services which allows for amazing, parallel processing and speed improvements. 
  • Longer login timeout. The login timeout has been extended to 12 hours.
  • Easier data management. “Measurement Data Edit” now offers a “range delete,” option allowing administrators increased ability to manage their facility data.
  • All new calculations service. The calculations engine is faster and allows for more expressive and powerful formula building.
  • Upsampling. You can now view data at an interval that is more granular than the source data. For example, daily data can be viewed as hourly.

We hope you enjoy SENSEI 3.0! Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns, as we continue to evolve and improve the SENSEI experience.

Cascade Energy Included in Navigant Research Report on Energy Management Information Systems

A new report from Navigant Research examines the global market for industrial energy management information systems, segmented by software and services, with forecasts for revenue by region, through 2024. Cascade is identified as a key energy player in the engineering service company sector. Due to increasing customer demand for EMIS software and services, Navigant projects this market will grow aggressively during the next decade. Read the executive summary here: http://www.navigantresearch.com/research/industrial-energy-management-systems To order the full report contact Navigant Research at research-sales@navigant.com.

OSI Partners with Cascade to Expand Energy Program

Cascade Energy  announced an agreement with OSI, a world leader in providing quality products and custom solutions for the food industry, in support of OSI’s plan to deepen their energy efficiency efforts and expand their single-facility pilot program into five additional plants.

In 2013, Cascade and OSI launched a pilot program at OSI’s Oakland, IA facility that involved: 

  • Setting up an energy measurement, tracking, benchmarking, and reporting system.
  • Performing a tune up on the facility’s refrigeration, compressed air, and high-pressure water pump systems.
  • Delivering a final report, listing action items to be implemented.
  • Engaging OSI site staff to assist with the action item implementation.
  • Reviewing system performance to drive additional energy savings.

Cascade introduced SENSEI to OSI engineers and operators. SENSEI incorporates real-time energy use, production, and weather data to provide visibility into true energy performance. At the Oakland site, OSI used SENSEI to assign, record, and track action items and monitor the resulting energy savings.

During the course of the initial tune up, and after observing Cascade’s engineers walk through the OSI facility and quickly identify sources of inefficiency, OSI Oakland General Manager Mike Koranda responded, “I want our operators and technicians to be able to spot any other possible system inefficiencies and fixes like that!” Cascade developed a two-day industrial refrigeration best practices training program specifically for the OSI team to impart thorough knowledge of the system and give them the ability to propose appropriate solutions for their facility.

As of November 2014, OSI Oakland has saved over four million kWh and over $295,000. Based on the success of the training and tune up results at the Oakland plant, OSI is excited to roll out a three-year program to five more facilities in Illinois, Wisconsin and Utah. Cascade and OSI will work together to help meet OSI’s company-wide goal of 10% energy intensity reduction by 2020.

OSI will focus on developing:

  • Executive support and commitment
  • Site-specific energy goals
  • Dedicated roles and responsibilities for program implementation at each site
  • Program performance monitoring through energy key performance indicators

Cascade will provide support for the program in the form of:

  • Onsite energy efficiency tune-ups that identify and implement low/no-cost energy savings opportunities
  • Training on refrigeration system best practices
  • Cascade’s proprietary energy management information software, SENSEI
  • Technical support over the three-year program to help facilitate continuous improvement

“OSI is taking an aggressive and comprehensive approach to energy management,” said Cascade Energy CEO Marcus Wilcox. “We are excited to build on the success of the Oakland facility, and look forward to our continued partnership, working side-by-side with the OSI team, to strategically manage energy costs.”

Assessment on Industrial Energy Software Released

SENSEI was mentioned in a very positive light in a new report on energy management information systems (EMIS).

The Verdantix report, Smart Innovators: Industrial Energy Management Software is based on interviews with 127 energy directors at industrial firms and energy software applications from 16 suppliers.

The report discusses some of the key energy  issues facing large industrial enterprises today, and articulates how an effectiveEMIS can help minimize the impact of increasing energy costs.The report notes that the most “holistic” EMIS solutions will enable enterprise resource planning, asset management, and energy management; and describes “five factors firms must consider when assessing solutions.”

Verdantix interviewed Cascade’s VP of Products, Dan Brown, as well as a variety of other industrial energy management software suppliers, to understand the challenges in the industry today and how suppliers are addressing them.

SENSEI and MINUS40 Join Forces to Create Energy Efficiency Synergy Down Under

According to that wellspring of Internet knowledge, Wikipedia, the word “synergy” refers to the “interaction of multiple elements in a system to produce an effect different from or greater than the sum of their individual effects.” In short, good things happen when great companies join forces.We’ve recently teamed up with a refrigeration consulting and design engineering firm, out of Sydney, Australia, MINUS40. We’re very excited about this venture and the chance to meet some new “mates” and deliver even more comprehensive services to customers down under.MINUS40 specializes in refrigeration, process cooling, and industrial HVAC and heat recovery systems. They offer full project development services, from concept to completion including engineering design, energy audits and feasibility studies, measurement and verification as well as project management and implementation support.

SENSEI is an essential software component of any energy management program that:

  • Measures energy use, calculates and tracks savings, and reports results
  • Offers anytime, anywhere access to energy data via push reports, alerts, and alarms
  • Promotes communication and collaboration between staff through instant sharing of project status, actions, documents, and reports

Both Cascade Energy and MINUS40 are committed to delivering profitable sustainability through sound system design, and effective energy-management tools and programs that drive ongoing energy and cost savings our customers can count on over the long haul.Cascade recently opened up an office in the UK, and we consider our partnership with MINUS40 in Australia a great opportunity to expand our horizons even more. If you’d like to learn more please contact the folks at Cascade Energy and SENSEI at:

  • North America 866.321.4573
  • UK +44.0.203.289.3744

MINUS40 can be reached in Australia at 02.8850.4811 or via their website: www.minus40.com.au

SENSEI Wins Environmental Leader Product of the Year Award!

environemental energy efficiency award

“The product scores in terms of the ease of use, adaptability (customizable) and the immediate results that it can deliver for customers,” says one of the Environmental Leader Product and Project Awards judges.

A panel of 20 judges reviewed Environmental Leader’s project and product nominations this year. One judge asserted that the competition was high and there were some tough choices to make. In spite of the stiff competition, SENSEI™ won in the product category.

SENSEI is Cascade Energy’s advanced energy software solution designed to drive continuous, cost-effective savings for industrial facilities worldwide. The platform does much more than merely monitor energy consumption. The only solution on the market that’s designed by industrial energy efficiency experts, SENSEI changes behavior by connecting people to energy information, actions to results, and energy-efficiency projects to measurable returns.

According to Environmental Leader’s review of SENSEI, another judge “complimented the product on its web-based capabilities, energy analytics, focus on industrial operations, and focus on the human factors, adding that it is especially good in its integration with existing MES software in manufacturing.”

SENSEI helps manage workflows by allowing users to tag, open, and close events, assign tasks to individuals and allow all stakeholders to communicate about events and issues. Unlike many tools on the market today, SENSEI is easy to use and can be up and running in a matter of weeks—not months. When compared to other energy software solutions, SENSEI is unique because it:
1. Accommodates all data streams: interval, monthly, utility bill, water/sewer, production, etc.

2. Displays energy performance data and events in a meaningful way so users can easily create and save the views they need.

3. Tracks true energy savings so end users can understand and communicate ROI.

4. Provides push reports and alarms that notify end-users when energy anomalies occur, so that immediate action can be taken.

SENSEI creates an energy intensity baseline based on sophisticated normalization equations (regression analysis) to account for changes in weather, production, operating schedules, etc. This baseline gives an industrial facility the power to accurately track all of their energy efficiency initiatives and render their energy stories visually.

The platform’s reporting options allow engineers to quickly view their facility’s baseline vs. actual performance, enter the maintenance actions taken, track current projects, as well as energy and cost savings to-date.

When industrial companies curb their energy spend and reduce operating expenses they free up capital to invest back into the company and its employees—thus increasing competitive edge and the ability to more quickly adapt to an ever-changing marketplace. SENSEI gives companies and their employees’ visibility to the direct effect their actions have on energy performance and dollars saved.

Case Study

In 2009 a Cascade Energy client, running a large food and beverage distribution enterprise, launched an initiative to reduce their energy costs and consumption. After working with Cascade the company reduced energy use overall, by more than 28%. Cascade introduced SENSEI and suggested that the new, cloud-based platform could help them be more effective at monitoring and understanding the impact of their energy improvements. The company was immediately interested, particularly so, because monitoring solutions they’d used in the past weren’t fully meeting their needs. With SENSEI, all of the clients’ sites can see and share data logs. Their operations staff has instant access to real-time information about energy-saving actions taken, and all stakeholders can view rich information revealing whether a change helps or hurts energy efficiency.

Dan Brown Wins Forty Under 40 Award for Energy Software Innovation

We’re excited to announce that Cascade Energy Principal and VP of Products, Dan Brown, has won a Forty Under 40 award offered by the Portland Business Journal. The award is given to young professionals under the age of 40 who have excelled in their field, by showing tremendous leadership and committment to the community.

Dan is the guiding force behind SENSEI Cascade’s energy-efficiency web application designed to drive continuous, cost-effective savings for industrial facilities. SENSEI is the only energy management software solution on the market built by industrial energy-efficiency experts.

"Dan was Cascade’s first employee engineer, hired in 1998. He’s always had a passion for innovation with an eye to better serving our customers," says Cascade CEO, Marucs Wilcox. "SENSEI is the culmination of years of hard work, vision, and planning. We think SENSEI is the best energy management platform available, reflecting Dan’s ability to put himself in our customers’ shoes. We are very proud of SENSEI and very proud of Dan." 

Last year SENSEI won an "Innovation in Sustainability" award from the Portland Business Journal and Sustainable Business Oregon, in the "energy" category which considers the amount of energy saved and percentage of energy from renewable sources.

 "SENSEI is unique among energy monitoring software applications," says Mr. Brown, " because it does much more than merely monitor consumption. SENSEI helps change behavior by connecting people to energy information, actions to results and energy-efficiency projects to measurable returns."

The Portland Business Journal will honor Forty Under 40 award recipients at a lunch banquet on Thursday, February 13th, 2014 at The Nines Hotel, 525 SW Morrison St. Portland OR 97204, 6th Floor, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Find more information at:  http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/event/98591 and view the award recipients at http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/topic/40-under-40/.

SENSEI Wins Innovation in Sustainability Award

Sensei energy software success

We are want to share that we just won an Innovation in Sustainability award from the Portland Business Journal and Sustainable Business Oregon (SBO).

SENSEI won in the Energy category which considers the number of kilowatt hours of energy saved and percentage of energy from renewable sources. This is the fourth annual competition hosted by SBO and Portland Business Journal. In addition to Energy, other award categories include: water, waste, equity, food, natural environment, and transportation. Needless to say, we are very excited!

Sustainable Business Oregon hosts a bevy of industry events, and their mission is to create a platform for sharing ideas, discussing best practices and accelerating Oregon’s leadership in sustainable business by creating an organized, collaborative community. We’re really proud to be a part of that community.

We know that SENSEI is a game changer when it comes to driving continuous cost-effective savings for industrial facilities worldwide–and now others are beginning to recognize this (see how SENSEI compares to other platforms here.)  SENSEI is unique among energy software solutions because it does much more than merely monitor consumption—it helps change behavior by providing the kind of energy data people need to drive results. It’s also the only platform on the market that’s designed by industrial energy-efficiency experts.

To date the industrial complex has been under-served in terms of effective energy-management solutions because the energy industry continues to focus primarily on commercial and residential investments. In commercial buildings and homes energy savings typically results from implementing lighting and HVAC solutions. But industrial customers are faced with complex, interconnected systems that require constant monitoring and fine-tuning to maintain optimal performance levels.

When you consider that industrial facilities consume approximately 1/3 of the energy in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy, the potential for increasing efficiency in the sector is phenomenal.

SENSEI’s positive impact on the environment starts with helping industrial facilities get more productive use out of the energy they consume. When a company integrates energy optimization and efficiency into its core operations, it can be phenomenally successful at reducing both consumption and impact on the environment. SENSEI plays a pivotal role in this process by helping establish a clear picture of true energy performance and then providing a way for all stakeholders to easily communicate and work together to save more each year.

 

 

CASCADE ENERGY INTRODUCES SENSEI ENERGY EFFICIENCY PLATFORM

First-ever system connecting actions to energy performance unlocks new efficiencies for industrial companies and utilities


ATLANTA – (October 31, 2012) — A first-of-its-kind energy efficiency management system designed to help industrial companies master their energy spend was introduced today by Cascade Energy, a leading provider of energy efficiency services, at the World Energy Engineering Congress.


Taking aim at the $95 billion annual energy bill of U.S. industrial companies, the new SENSEI™ energy efficiency platform is a comprehensive Web-based system that makes it possible for industrial leaders to establish true energy performance, drive action to reduce consumption and track associated savings across entire enterprises.

 

“With SENSEI, energy management can move beyond one-time capital upgrades or occasional best practices to a comprehensive system that encourages the sustained action required to capture greater efficiency,” said Dan Brown, Cascade Energy vice president of product development.

 

“We can now connect actions to energy performance in a way that drives change in operations and maintenance, employee behavior and management practices. This opens the door for significant sustainable savings, and in some utility territories, significant incentives.”

 

SENSEI was created by Cascade Energy due to the absence of actions-to-performance energy management systems available in the marketplace. The company, located in Portland, Oregon, self-funded the yearlong development of SENSEI with a 10-person development team. The platform has been tested in large industrial enterprises and has application in commercial buildings.

 

SENSEI provides real-time energy consumption tracking and visual displays of key performance indicators, including energy correlations to plant throughput, comparisons with previous periods, event tagging overlaid on energy performance and reporting of cumulative savings across multiple facilities. The company has also built SENSEI to help industrial customers track their carbon footprint.

 

The introduction of SENSEI comes at a time when industrial companies are working diligently to contain energy costs, which are growing faster than the consumer price index and represent 5-40 percent of a manufacturing company’s cost of goods. According to Pike Research, the industrial energy management software and services industry is expected to achieve 22 percent annualized growth through 2020.

 

SENSEI is available in North America on a subscription basis to utilities and companies. Service options for professional support, meter installation, sub-metering, data aggregation, and transmission hardware are also available. More information is available at www.energysensei.com.

 

Cascade Energy has experienced four-fold growth over the past five years, and now employs over 90 professionals. The company is one of the largest in the nation dedicated to industrial energy efficiency. Completed projects total more than 3,000 across a variety of industries including, cold storage, refrigerated warehouse, food processing, agribusiness, oil and gas, pulp and paper, and general manufacturing sectors. Cascade Energy has operated in about half the industrial sites in the Northwest and, six years ago, expanded its service area across North America. The company’s projects are saving industrial companies roughly two billion kWh annually, amounting to $125 million saved per year.

 

Contact:
Doug Anderson, 503.928.4811
mediarelations@cascadeenergy.com

Kroger Q&A

Getting on the Same Page with SENSEI Action Item Tracking
Q&A with Bryan Handy, Kroger Logistics Sustainability Project Manager

 

SENSEI: Tell me about Kroger’s energy program and goals.

Bryan Handy: The energy program at Kroger has been ongoing for several years, but initially, we didn’t really have a baseline to establish what kind of return we were getting from our projects. We made a decision in the Logistics group to establish a monitoring program to sustain the reductions we were able to get. We went out for bid about three years ago for that program: The first stage was monitoring, and the second stage was optimization.

We’ve established the baseline now and have gone back and compared to internal numbers. In the original program, we had targeted a 5 percent per year reduction. Though we didn’t get anywhere, we wanted to continue trying to do better. We thought we might do a facility optimization program combined with capital projects through audits done in 2004 and others more recently. We set some overall reduction goal for each site based on that information, and we’re tracking that data going forward.

 

SENSEI: What challenges and barriers have you faced along the way? What have you learned?

BH: Behavioral and training is the biggest challenge—getting people to shut doors between refrigerated spaces all the way and turning off lights on docks and rooms. Also, making sure that when we start doing a review, we get the buy-in of the upper management at the site and operations manager. When we show them how they can get involved and how they’ll get the support and tools they need, like the energy monitoring program, they can see the results.

 

SENSEI: Why is tracking operations and maintenance (O&M) activities important to your overall energy goals? And how does SENSEI help?

BH: We’ve found that the way equipment is being operated is not energy efficient. Specific pieces like valves and pumps aren’t working or aren’t 100%—they need maintenance. If they’re maintained, we can have greater efficiency at lower cost. Having a tool where we can see what’s being done and where the site folks who are implementing changes can see what they need to do next is very important. We can look at how complex each project is and maximize savings up front by knocking out the simpler tasks first.

 

SENSEI: What’s your method for knocking out these O&M improvements with SENSEI?

BH: We come up with the list of action items while we’re at each site and help them with a few to ensure buy-in. Then, later we’ll send a long list to the site. By using SENSEI, we’re not just able to give them a snapshot, but we can also categorize them by how difficult they’ll be to complete and also by the energy impact they will have. So we can look at cost, the efficiency benefit, and the length of the project. After we set deadlines for about half of action items up front, we do a conference call with everyone involved about a week after the walk-through. We break out the tasks that are easier to complete, as well as those that will have the greatest impact.

 

SENSEI: Do you think the SENSEI Action Item tracking helps with building momentum and buy-in?

BH: It really helps, also with accountability. It’s hard to get things implemented without accountability. In SENSEI, everyone can see the deadlines for upcoming projects. The facility staff and I can be on a call together and make notes in the task list. In some instances, we might want to change it on the fly with the site person and the engineer talking about the task over the phone.

 

SENSEI: Kroger has worked with Cascade Energy for some time. What has made that partnership so successful?

BH: The savings from the first few optimizations with Kroger were huge, but there was no follow up or sustainability program, which we were aware of. So we came back to Cascade, who was in the process of building that same kind of sustainability program for another customer. And we knew we were going to get results. Cascade has been really willing to adapt and put together some programs like SENSEI and custom changes to reporting that Kroger wanted.