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CivStart Looks to Energy Efficiency in New Govtech Cohort

Enpira is one of a dozen companies selected for the Govtech Accelerator Program by CivStart, to further develop its business model and technology for the government sector markets.

Closeup of solar panels.
Growing the electricity management sector has emerged as one of several focus areas for the CivStart Innovation Hub. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit has taken 12 startups under its wing as part of the Govtech Accelerator Program, in its mission to grow gov tech across a number of areas, like transportation or energy efficiency.

“What brings them all together is civic-minded founders with dedicated teams, impact and inclusion, and a proven beginning of a solution with the possibility of scaling to local governments large, medium and small,” said Nick Lyell, chief impact officer at CivStart.

One of those startups is Enpira, a North Carolina-based company focused on energy management namely for public-sector organizations and utilities.

“We have multiple local government customers, mostly in North Carolina, who use our software and services for building energy management and sustainability initiatives. Our clients include small cities and towns, county governments and K-12 school districts,” explained Daniel Kauffman, founder of Enpira.

Enpira was recently selected by CivStart’s public-sector selection committee to to be a part of the 2022 CivStart Accelerator Cohort. The program will run for 24 months and will include mentoring, education, marketing support and other resources.

Enpira’s technology allows energy and sustainability managers to view up-to-date energy and water data across a number of platforms and metrics.

“Enpira stood out to us embodying important social impact as we take on other climate resilience, adaptation and mitigation initiatives,” said Lyell.

“Local government sustainability and energy management initiatives struggle to acquire and maintain transparency into how their facility portfolios are using energy,” he added, via email. “Seemingly simple tasks such as identifying facilities with low-cost energy savings potential and ranking facilities on year-to-year energy reduction can be challenging due to the amount of data required to compile.”

Even though Enpira is careful to note the company does not specialize in large-scale grid management, it can help organizations better manage their electric loads, particularly as new assets like electric vehicles get added.

“For example, for our government clients we track charging stations operated … and help them understand charging station utilization,” said Kauffman. “And for electric utilities, we help identify electric vehicles among the customer base, and help utilities understand the impact of an increase in electric vehicles on their grid assets.”

Increasing energy efficiency by government agencies, utilities and others has become not only a priority, but an area ripe for improvement and innovation. Energy efficiency investment levels in North America have increased about 15 percent from 2015 to 2022, according to a new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Last year, energy efficiency policies and programs in areas like building codes, vehicle fuel economy or appliance standards helped to reduce total energy consumption in the United States about 30 percent, or the energy used by the entire transportation sector, according to the ACEEE report.
Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Yreka, Calif.