How to Make Money from Saving Energy: Tales of Innovation at the SDG&E Energy Showcase

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lighting, hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment—as well as HVAC monitoring and control technologies. I nevertheless found a few local startups under the big tent of the San Diego Convention Center that are developing innovative technologies:

Flux Power, based in Vista, CA, has developed energy management technology for use with advanced lithium batteries. The company, which was started late last summer by Aptera Motors co-founder Chris Anthony, has been self-funded so far, according to Joseph Gottlieb, the chief technology officer. Gottlieb says technology for monitoring, managing, and charging lithium batteries is crucial because such batteries are susceptible to damage by drawing too much power from the cell—as well as excessive recharging.

Empower Electronics, based in San Diego, has developed digital and programmable lighting ballasts (transformers used to step up voltage so as to excite gases in fluorescent, metal halide and sodium vapor lamps), primarily for high intensity outdoor lighting. The privately held company’s ballasts, which can be easily substituted in municipal street lights, car dealership lighting, and big box retailers’ overhead lighting, can increase energy efficiency by 60 percent and reduce maintenance costs by 50 percent.

InControl Technology, based in El Cajon, CA, has developed a network appliance for monitoring and controlling energy use within an enterprise IT network. CEO Gary Paquette, who founded the company in 2002 with Ross Bellinger and Ben McCullom (all three had worked previously at San Diego’s Peregrine Systems), tells me the technology can scan a network and inventory every network-attached device (laptop, desktop, server, switch, router, hub, etc.). The system also can identify which devices are using the most energy, enabling system managers to optimize the energy efficiency of their enterprise networks.

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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One response to “How to Make Money from Saving Energy: Tales of Innovation at the SDG&E Energy Showcase”

  1. Generating Energy Storage & A Combination Renewable Energy System

    “It is cheaper to save energy than make energy”

    Any renewable energy system that is installed should have extra capacity and be able to convert water into hydrogen which will be used to power a hydrogen generator as a back-up power source.

    We should install a renewable energy system that utilizes solar & wind, when possible add geothermal to the mix.

    A design is needed for a renewable energy system that can generate electricity and heat water with a step down mixer allowing the system to provide water hot enough for radiant heating and at the same time utilize a step down mixing valve to reduce the water temperature to be able its use for hot water in normal consumption.

    A thermal renewable energy system may be able to provide both.

    Prior to sizing up a renewable energy system, an energy audit should be conducted and energy efficiency recommendations should be implemented, that includes changing habits in utilizing energy and utilities in general.

    Habitual changes can save between 20 to 50% of energy & utility consumption.
    When people are considerate not to waste, they save resources and money.

    YJ Draiman, Energy/Utility Analyst