- Residential and commercial buildings require huge amounts of energy, and most property managers don’t have time to figure out how to make buildings more efficient.
- Founded in 2005, Energy CX is a family-run energy advisory firm that analyzes properties’ utility usage, sustainability goals and building attributes to produce energy conserving strategies.
- Energy CX is currently at work in 30,000 properties in 26 states.
People who manage buildings filled with humans and machines are hyperaware of how much energy we use. Conserving energy might be on their to-do list, but it’s often trumped by day-to-day demands.
Fortunately for property managers’ bottom lines (and guilty consciences), energy conservation in residential and commercial buildings is a full-time obsession at Energy CX. The company, founded in 2005 by Mark and Ellen Rice, is now in the hands of their sons, chief revenue officer (CRO) Nathan and chief operations officer (COO) Miles.
“Since 2018 we’ve evolved into a full energy management solution for property management companies,” Miles says. “We look at ways to make them more sustainable, intelligent and profitable through technology.”
Energy CX analyzes utility invoices, sustainability goals, pain points and the physical features of buildings, then provides a report of recommended solutions. It helps companies implement the plan and make sure it’s working.
“We take all their data and give them visibility into each property,” Nathan explains. For example, “say they have one hundred 50,000 square-feet. buildings, all office space. If building A is spending double that of building B, we’re able to notify them that something’s going wrong.”
Nathan and Miles joined the podcast to explain Energy CX’s strategies, the company’s value to property managers and continuing the family tradition of entrepreneurship.
Interview Highlights — Nathan and Miles Rice from Energy CX
Running a business runs in the family
Nathan: As a kid, I liked girls and sports, but I also liked business. We’re sixth generation entrepreneurs. We were always taught that being an entrepreneur is the way to live. That’s always been our mindset, passed down from our parents and grandparents.
Miles: I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was five or six years old. I started selling golf balls in front of my house. I’d go into the forest, collect golf balls and sell them back to the golfers. It was a phenomenal business model. The only way to get to the golf club was to drive by our house, so I had a massive sign that said “Massively discounted golf balls.” I would sell six Pro V1s for $2.
Going the extra mile to save clients energy
Miles: Our parents founded the company in 2005 and it was primarily a brokerage shop. Since 2018, we’ve evolved into a full energy management solution for property management companies. We look at ways to make them more sustainable, intelligent and profitable through technology.
You come to us and give us an idea of your pain points, objectives, things you want to accomplish from sustainability and areas of potential profit that you’ve noticed. We’ll do a statistical analysis to figure out areas of opportunity, if there are any mistakes in your invoices and if we can procure a lower supply rate.
In addition to that, we’ll go to your building, look at the lights, look at if there’s enough area to put in a Tesla battery or solar panels. We do all that legwork and provide you with a report saying this is what you can do. Here’s the ROI. Here’s the business case for doing it. For the most part, we’ll never offer a capital expenditures solution that has a ROI that takes longer than three years.
We’re doing things with Tesla batteries, solar frequency regulation and peak load mitigation: those are ways you can get paid to help the utility company be more efficient. We also do things with LED lights and sensor technology.
Where you see a utility invoice, Energy CX sees opportunity
Nathan: Anyone that owns a property has a lot of shit they have to deal with. We take all their data and give them visibility into each property — for example, their energy spend at each property.
Say they have one hundred 50,000 square-feet buildings, all office space. If building A is spending double that of building B, we’re able to notify them that something’s going wrong. We put everything together for them so they can have a more holistic view.
Additionally, invoicing is always a big problem. They’re getting thousands of invoices through their 50 different properties monthly — sometimes up to tens of thousands. We take all those invoices, streamline all their data and get rid of the pain when it comes to dealing with utilities.
We’re able to take a lot of labor out of their jobs and also give them more visibility into their energy spend and help them find ways to reduce it.
Miles: If you’re a mega corporation, you can afford to have a team like ours internally, but not many people can. Our value is through economies of scale. We have 30,000 properties in 26 different states and we can leverage that to help individual customers.
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