Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy, an electric and natural gas utility serving eight US states, has launched a Building Optimization Pilot Program in Colorado. Using Foster City, California-based BuildingIQ’s Predictive Energy Optimization (PEO) platform, the participating commercial buildings will be able to actively predict and manage their HVAC loads.

Currently, each of the properties average daily summer peak loads over 500kW. If all goes as planned, BuildingIQ’s cloud-based solution will help the buildings experience a reduction in day-to-day energy consumption. In addition, the buildings can be automatically called upon by Xcel Energy to assist in demand response relief, thus allowing the utility to avoid the need to purchase or produce additional power during periods of high demand.

“Xcel Energy is making its current infrastructure more dynamic while also creating value for its clients with the BuildingIQ platform,” said Michael Nark, CEO of BuildingIQ. “Buildings that have our technology installed will be able to reduce operating costs on a daily basis and participate in demand response events. The cloud-based nature of the platform allows it to be installed quickly and enables users to see results right away, without disruption to a building’s infrastructure or daily activities.”

The software leverages predictive analytics to enable intelligent building management. Variables such as occupant comfort, building characteristics, historical data, weather forecasts and utility signals are used to make real-time changes to temperature and airflow in order to alleviate energy usage when the power grid is constrained. BuildingIQ claims that their technology allows customers to take control of energy costs and help improve the environment.

Anne Kraft, Pilot Manager on Xcel Energy’s Customer Solutions Team, said: “BuildingIQ’s PEO platform offers a unique way to combine energy efficiency and demand response in one package and could prove to be a valuable addition to our successful Demand Side Management portfolio in Colorado.”

Earlier this year, BuildingIQ was selected by the City of Washington D.C. to deploy its cloud-based technology in more than 3,200,000 square feet of public buildings. Implementation of the platform is enabling a range of hospitals, education facilities and office spaces to save money and generate revenue by optimizing energy usage and enabling future participation in demand response events.

BuildingIQ’s optimization platform is unique in that measurement and verification (M&V) is an intrinsic part of the system. All collected data is compared to baseline models and reported savings are consistent with International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocols (IPMVP). In addition, through Xcel Energy’s program these savings will be examined by a third-party evaluator.