The Prius is famous for demonstrating that consumers will change their behavior if provided with a well-designed consumption software dashboard. (It monitors MPG for the Prius.) Companies across industries are discovering that easy-to-read consumption dashboards are good for education, marketing, and eventually for meeting carbon regulations. The latest is PC-energy management startup Verdiem, which on Monday is releasing an energy dashboard that displays all the cumulative energy and money saved by a company that has installed Verdiem’s energy-efficiency software on its PCs.
Seattle-based Verdiem has been selling its flagship product — software called Surveyor that centrally monitors and manages the energy consumption of networked business computers — for a while. So we’re surprised that it is just now launching a central dashboard with easy-to-read visuals. But Verdiem tells us that customers were asking for an easy way to track and educate the rest of their company on the money saved and carbon emissions reduced due to the software. The energy dashboard will now be included for all new customers and for existing customers that have a monthly maintenance subscription.
Verdiem says large customers like the city of Chicago (for almost 9,500 PCs) and the city of Honolulu (for almost 1,700 computers) have been using the dashboard and Surveyor to cut energy consumption of PCs and to share the savings within the city government. I can imagine because the software takes about eight to nine months to provide a return on investment, being able to see the savings in real time is a good way to remind customers that they’ll soon be able to earn that investment back — and then some. Verdiem says its customers can save between $30 and $60 per PC per year. For cash-strapped cities (California is using it, too) those are important figures.
While Verdiem’s dashboard is less about changing the behavior of its software users (it’s centrally managed by the IT exec), right now, it’s more about an education and communication tool for the rest of the company. Eventually, though, the product could help a company quantify its carbon reductions for corporate sustainability reports and upcoming carbon regulation. While 66 percent of companies on the S&P don’t yet disclose adequate carbon emissions information, software that can help companies monitor and manage carbon emissions is set to be a hot market.
Venture capitalists have been investing in software that can cut energy consumption across the IT industry in droves. Verdiem is backed by Kleiner Perkins (which also invested in sustainability software startup Hara) as well as the NCD Investors, the Westly Group, Catamount Ventures, Falcon Partners and Phoenix Partners.