FirstFuel Software Selected for DoD Energy Efficiency Initiative

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Lexington, MA-based FirstFuel Software is among a crop of experimental energy projects picked to help the Department of Defense curb its energy output across military installations, the company announced yesterday. The startup was one of 27 teams selected as part of the DoD’s Installation Energy Test Bed initiative, a program designed to help emerging energy technologies get to market quicker while also slicing the roughly $4 billion a year the department spends on energy across its 300,000 sites.

FirstFuel’s software enables customers to measure building energy output—and target effective efficiency upgrades—without ever setting foot on site. The technology uses a building’s address, a year’s worth of energy meter readings, satellite imaging, and weather patterns to conduct the audit remotely. CEO Swapnil Shah has previously stated that his company is targeting utilities and government agencies as customers because of their massive reach and their need to cut the costs of pricey on-site audits, which can run between $5,000 and $30,000 a pop. In this case, the FirstFuel technology will be tested out in a pilot of about 100 DoD buildings and then evaluated for use in more sites, said Shah.

The Installation Energy Test Bed program, founded in 2009 as part of the DoD’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program, has selected other technologies in the building management, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy storage arenas. Through the program, the government aims to take on some of the risk as one of the first users to validate the new technology, and “for those technologies that prove effective, DoD can go on to serve as an early customer, thereby helping create a market, as it did with aircraft, electronics, and the internet,” the Installation Energy Test Bed’s website explains. FirstFuel seems to be alongside some heavy hitters for the 2012 pool, which includes projects from 3M, Raytheon, Autodesk, and Honeywell.

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