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Modeling vs Money

asked 2014-10-09 06:16:02 -0500

Luna gravatar image

updated 2017-04-16 14:53:03 -0500

I have been involved in energy conservation for about 4 years and about 6 months ago decided to focus on building modeling using DOE Tools (E+, OpenStudio). I am doing this on a consulting basis and not having enough luck to keep the money flowing quickly enough. Modeling seemed like a service that not a great deal of ESCO's want to deal with because of the learning curve so I took it on. I thought it would make sense to provide an assesment (including financials) along with the cost of not making the investment to building owners but it seems like I get no traction. Am I a dog chasing it's tail?

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@Luna what are you asking here? Are you asking if people have been able to make a business model around modeling services? There is a similar question already asked about How much does it cost to create a model.

Neal Kruis gravatar image Neal Kruis  ( 2014-10-09 09:56:44 -0500 )edit

Thank you for responding Neal. I am asking if people have been able to make a business model around modeling services.

Luna gravatar image Luna  ( 2014-10-09 10:31:07 -0500 )edit

@Luna you might consider revising your question title to better reflect what you are asking. Consider also adding some tags to your question to make it easier for people to find, for example, "project-cost" and "business".

If you feel that the question I linked to adequately answers your question, let me know and I can mark this question as a duplicate.

Neal Kruis gravatar image Neal Kruis  ( 2014-10-10 10:06:36 -0500 )edit

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answered 2014-10-12 09:07:19 -0500

@Luna. There are many viable businesses whose core service is energy-modeling. I don't know that any of these businesses generate millions and millions of dollars, but they are self-sustaining. At the same time, other businesses struggle. There are many variables.

Location is important. Energy modelers do better where the economy is healthy, there is moderate construction activity, and there are energy-efficiency codes and beyond-code programs that encourage efficiency.

Target clientele is also important. You mention ESCOs. There are enough poorly performing buildings out there that ESCOs can focus on low-hanging measures that don't require modeling to either plan or to clear a deemed-savings threshold. Energy modeling is primarily a new construction tool at this point, although hopefully that will change in the future as deeper energy efficiency becomes more prevalent.

As with any business, experience and connections are important. It often helps to work in an established business where you can build your portfolio and gain some exposure before striking out on your own.

There is no single right answer, just some general rules of thumb. Putting my DOE hat on for 30 seconds, we recognize the situation and are trying to develop tools (like EnergyPlus and OpenStudio which you are already using) and resources (like UnmetHours :)) that help modelers deliver high-quality services at lower costs. But it's an ongoing process.</rant>

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Asked: 2014-10-09 06:16:02 -0500

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Last updated: Oct 12 '14