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Dude Solutions Buys NET’s Energy Management Platform

As Dude Solutions continues to sell Energy Manager alongside its other operations management programs, with service and support from NET, the company will set up a dedicated business unit for energy products.

Dude Solutions, a North Carolina-based SaaS company that makes operations management software, has plans for the energy conservation market.

In a news release Tuesday, the company announced a deal to acquire EnergyCenter, a cloud-based platform that tracks energy use and expenditures, from New Energy Technology (NET). Dude Solutions has been selling that underlying technology under a similar name, Energy Manager, for the past two years in partnership with NET, but the purchase gives Dude the ability to control future iterations of the product. The news release also announced the creation of a new “energy business unit” for Dude Solutions.

Explaining the purchase, Dude Solutions’ Chief Product Officer Jodi McDermott told Government Technology that Energy Manager, as the company will continue to call it, is of a piece with the rest of their tools for helping local governments and other agencies manage operational costs. Besides energy, Dude Solutions sells software for monitoring work orders, events and community development, the latter of which was the reason Dude acquired Paladin Data Systems and its licensing and permitting software last year.

McDermott said Energy Manager helps clients visualize and analyze their energy-spending and consumption habits, then publish the results in an open portal and identify ways to cut back — for instance by making sure schools are turning off classroom lights at night, parking lot lights are activated at the right times, or HVAC systems aren’t running when buildings are empty.

“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth in the energy space and interest from our customers … in government, education, health care, manufacturing … and it’s about our commitment to build on this space. We believe there is a lot of upside and opportunity with energy management,” she said. “Many of the customers can see … between a 5 and 10 percent reduction in their expenses just by putting some simple cost management plans in place.”

In a public statement, NET President Charley Haupt talked about the advantages of helping governments build a staff full of conservation-minded people.

“When operators — both in the public and private sector — have access to the right information at the right time, they make smarter decisions and see better results,” the statement reads. “By partnering with Dude Solutions, we are empowering thousands of organizations to build their conservation army, eliminate energy waste, achieve significant savings and help protect the environment.”

As part of Dude’s purchase agreement, NET will continue providing support to their existing clients and retain a license to sell to industries not served by Dude Solutions. Dude Solutions has also entered into a lease agreement for NET’s software-engineering office in Olympia, Wash., which will be the company’s fifth location in North America.

Regarding Dude Solutions’ new energy business unit, McDermott said it’s early days, but the company knows there’s a market to build upon, so it’s looking for ways to adjust its product portfolio accordingly.

“We will be building on top of the Energy Manager product we have today. Clients love it, we see how they’re utilizing it, [and] there’s a true ROI in driving down hard costs in their budgets,” she said. “This is really about making sure we have focus.”

Andrew Westrope is managing editor of the Center for Digital Education. Before that, he was a staff writer for Government Technology, and previously was a reporter and editor at community newspapers. He has a bachelor’s degree in physiology from Michigan State University and lives in Northern California.
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