Xcel Energy has designed a new pilot program that will use building optimization software to help large commercial customers evaluate, manage, and reduce their energy use.

Qualified commercial customers whose buildings average daily summer peak load over 500 kW within the utility’s Colorado service territory will receive a financial incentive to participate. Customers will install new software that works alongside the building’s existing building management system to control the temperature and airflow. According to the company, the buildings will experience a reduction in day-to-day energy consumption and can be 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 using technology developed by energy management software company BuildingIQ called Predictive Energy Optimization™ (PEO).

“This 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,” said Anne Kraft, pilot manager on Xcel Energy’s Customer Solutions team.

“The BuildingIQ platform combines energy efficiency with demand response into one solution,” said Michael Nark, CEO of BuildingIQ. “Buildings with our technology in place will benefit from daily reductions in operating costs, as well as the ability to participate in DR events automatically. Our cloud-based solution can be installed quickly and seamlessly to optimize a building’s existing infrastructure.”

BuildingIQ’s 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.

Those interested in participating in the program are asked to contact their Xcel Energy account manager.