Sustainability pioneer EnergyCAP started in Happy Valley 40 years ago. Why they are choosing to stay here, and what’s next.

11/08/2022

By Stephanie Kalina-Metzger

“The EnergyCAP Team shares information on their business at an industry tradeshow.”

EnergyCAP became a pioneer in energy and sustainability enterprise resource planning (ERP) software before energy conservation was high on everyone’s radar and while PCs were in their infancy. The company was created to help users track their energy usage, and that was approximately 40 years ago, when EnergyCAP identified early on how to collect and aggregate energy data to make better decisions and drive savings.

“The manner in which we did it involved focusing on the core data gathered from utility bills to create a financial grade analysis to assess energy usage and recommend improvements,” said CEO Thomas Patterson, Jr., who assumed leadership of EnergyCAP when the founder, Steve Heinz, retired after 40 years.

“We’ve been working with them for 13 years now and have helped them save $133 million in energy costs, while helping them avoid errors and reducing their carbon impact."

By the mid-1990s, thousands of EnergyCAP customers had tracked an estimated $5 million in bills a year. The software was widely used by governments, universities, school districts and corporate campuses. More recently, in March 2021, the company established a strategic partnership with private equity investment firm Resurgens Technology Partners.

Why stick around in Happy Valley?

Even with EnergyCAP’s significant growth over the decades, though, the company remains headquartered in Happy Valley. According to Patterson, this is all due to founder Steve Heinz’s connections to the area.

“Up until a year ago, 90% of our employees were located in the Boalsburg office,” he said. Since then, though, EnergyCAP has grown globally.

“Right now, we have 60 employees at headquarters, 21 in Denver and 13 throughout Ireland, India, South Africa, Italy and Spain,” said Patterson, who was attracted to his current CEO position for reasons that are multi-faceted.

“First, I realized that I could have an impact on how we use our valuable, finite resources and how that ultimately affects our world. It really spoke to me in that regard,” he said, adding that he was also impressed by the small company’s clear purpose plus its high-quality product and platform. “The reputation from an employee and customer perspective was tremendous,” he said.

So what does EnergyCAP actually do?

EnergyCAP works with client organizations who are sometimes juggling thousands of utility bills in one month. Clients include K-12 schools, higher education, state and local governments and other commercial markets in the U.S., Canada and more recently globally, through its acquisition of Wattics. The company assists those clients in preparing sustainability and carbon emissions reports and helps organizations wrap their head around their energy data very quickly. “Government regulation is now requiring it,” said Patterson.

The company offers several services based on its software platform, according to Patterson. Number one is implementation: helping clients understand their organization’s energy needs and how to best use the software to improve energy consumption.

“Our team spends time with the customer, loading historical data and analyzing it to find quality issues, or aspects in the way the bills are constructed, which may not align with how the organization is analyzing them,” said Patterson.

Customers can then choose to input all their energy bill information on their own, or they can engage with EnergyCAP to ingest, manage and monitor the utility bills through its CAPture services.

“The data on some of these bills are voluminous and some have multiple meters on a single bill. We centralize all the energy and sustainability bill data, pulling it all together in one place,” said Patterson, adding that customers also benefit from peace of mind when they learn that they can pinpoint problems by opting for additional, real-time resource monitoring. “They can be notified on day one if, say, their water usage is way too high. They won’t have to wait until the end of the month to get that unpleasant surprise,” he said.

One of the many clients that have been working with EnergyCAP is the University of New Mexico. “We’ve been working with them for 13 years now and have helped them save $133 million in energy costs, while helping them avoid errors and reducing their carbon impact,” said Patterson.

The Loudon Public School District is another client that has benefited from the services of EnergyCAP, saving more than $64 million in expected utility costs over the years.

Moving forward

Patterson said that EnergyCAP wants to continue to remain the gold standard in energy, sustainability and utility data management. The company is a multiple-year winner of ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year, has been listed in Inc. among the 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies and has been named Environmental Leader’s Product of the Year.

The company is also dedicated to giving back. One such initiative has been to invest in Rwanda to help facilitate opportunities for children. The company has more recently become involved with the Second Wind Foundation, which focuses on connecting youth at risk for suicide with life-saving mental health treatment.

Another goal moving forward, according to Patterson, is to grow sustainability initiatives. “We’ve proactively built into the platform the ability to track and manage greenhouse gasses and we are continuing to expand that capability,” said Patterson, adding that it’s been rewarding to help organizations save money and positively benefit the environment at the same time.

“Our overarching goal is to always be the single source of truth of energy and sustainability data for the client,” said Patterson.

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