About one-third of the 174 Giga Watts of electricity generated in India annually is either stolen or dissipates in the conductors and transmission equipment that form the country’s distribution grid. In certain Indian states, these losses are as high as 50%. This makes India amongst nations having highest power and distribution losses against world average of below 15%.
In 2010, these losses translated into annual losses of 600 billion rupees ($13.3 billion) and number is expected to rise to 1 trillion rupees ($22 billion) by March 2015, according to the country’s finance ministry. Over 50% of Indian utility companies are operating at loss levels between 45-60%.
Chintan Soni co-founded Ecolibrium Energy two years back with a conviction that information technology will be an answer to this problem. Ecolibrium Energy provides smart grid solutions using its multi functional platform for industries and power utility companies to improve their efficiency and energy economics.
Incubated at CIIE – IIM Ahmedabad, startup holds 4 patents and has 6 industries as their customers. In 2010, company also implemented Gandhinagar Smart Grid Pilot Project in partnership with Govt. of Gujarat and Torrent Power.
What Ecolibrium Offers?
– Real time energy tracking
– Monitoring & control of specific equipment / appliances from a central location wirelessly
– Rule based engine for scheduling of loads, to maintain peak load at time when power tariff is low.
– Check energy wastage and cut down energy bill by shifting power consumption pattern to hours when cost of energy is low.
For power utility companies
– 2 way communication / control with consumer
– Demand prediction
– Remote meter reading
– Remote outrage and fault detection
– Theft detection
– Cut down of thefts and pilferage
– Capital reduction on manual meter tracking
– Demand prediction helps optimizing supply planning to increase revenues
Below is a brief Q&A with Chintan Soni, Co-Founder of Ecolibrium Energy
PI: How has been initial response from customers? You are also targeting government bodies (state utility companies) which can be difficult customers. How are you going about selling to government companies?
Response from industry has been good so far. We have 6 paying customers at this point. Our products are competitively priced, and few customers have realized return on their investment in less than six months (in form of energy bill cut down).
Regarding, government customers – most of these are loss making companies. Moment you tell them, your solution can help them turn profitable they listen to you.
PI: You became a revenue earning company in 18 months from inception. That is very aggressive. How did you go about it?
One year back, we wanted to raise capital and our business plan showed revenues in 12 months. This was challenged by some of the prospective investors. We took that as a challenge, and turned into a revenue earning entity in 8 months from that point.
PI: What is your vision for Ecolibrium Energy?
We believe, that energy saved is the energy produced and we want to be the largest virtual power plant in India.
On one side we have Fortune 500 companies like GE, CISCO etc. eyeing smart grid markets in India and on the other end homegrown companies like Ecolibrium Energy are coming up with solutions for India. As smart grid become India’s priority, it would be interesting to watch how this eco-system will evolve in India.
Another startup in this space: HameshaON