A version of this story originally appeared on NoCamels – Israeli Environment News
By Elana Widmann
Despite having just 4.59 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. consumes 25 percent of the all the energy produced on earth. That’s a lot of energy and it’s very expensive. But replacing electric and utility systems in buildings to make them more energy- and cost-efficient can be a hassle. Israeli technology company BEEMTech markets an easy-to-install lighting control and energy efficiency management system that enables a reduction in customers’ energy expenditure and carbon footprint.
BEEMTech was founded in 2009 when CEO Nati Frieberg and other private investors purchased the intellectual property of an existing smaller technology company. “We recruited the whole team, but decided to take BEEMTech down a new road, make a new operation,” Frieberg tells NoCamels. Today, BEEMTech is a “clean technology” company that develops, manufactures and markets its energy management solutions. To cut costs and energy use, BEEMTech customers install the company’s LightBEEM system, a lighting control and energy management system that allows for facility-wide control of electricity. The company claims its LightBEEM system cuts lighting energy costs by up to 75 percent (NoCamels could not independently verify this claim.)
The LightBEEM smart sensors are installed every 15-20 square-meters within a building and can tell if there is human presence in the room; what the temperature is; whether there is sufficient natural light and Infrared levels. Soon, the sensors will also be able to determine humidity and CO2 levels, says Frieberg. A large building with the LightBEEM system could have about 600 sensors total, he explains. “The idea is to try to do as little as possible. Installing our system causes no noise, and no opening of the floors or ceilings. We can install our system in a working building,” Frieberg explains. On average, the cost of installing the BEEMTech LightBEEM system is about $10-15 per square meter. “We do not change the existing HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. The idea is to use the existing equipment and to use it in a smarter way,” Frieberg tells NoCamels.
Controlling the system over existing infrastructure
The LightBEEM system is controlled by both BEEMTech’s central command server and by the people in the commercial building. The BEEMtech system is able to control each thermostat within a building without adding new wires. “This is one of our innovations and strengths as we use our own proprietary technology to communicate over the existing power lines,” says Frieberg. The LightBEEM system comes with a remote-control Smartphone application, so that people in the building can adjust the light and temperature of their specific area of the building. “Each individual device of the HVAC can be controlled. We centrally control the whole building, and correlate with user demand. For example, if a space is unoccupied we will switch off or dim the lights, and change temperature levels,” Frieberg notes.
Besides real-time information about the electricity in a building, BEEMTech also provides its customers with more in-depth information that they need to understand their energy and cost savings. Frieberg explains: “Our vision at BEEMTech is energy efficiency, light saving, and HVAC savings. Then we thought along with this, we could also provide useful reports on these savings for our customers.” The company provides its customers with reports daily, weekly, or monthly. “We summarize the information that enters our database, and then send it to our customers via email” he says. “It is our mission to turn every dumb building into a smart building,” Frieberg pronounces.
“Pays for itself within a year and a half”
Frieberg claims that customers could recover the money spent on their investment to install the BEEMTech system within 18 months. “Per year, we can save 25-40 percent on the entire buildings electricity cost and consumption,” he says.
The company commercialized only three months ago, and is currently installed in two locations in Israel, and one in the U.S. Frieberg says another five to seven installations will occur in the next fiscal quarter. The company says it is now approaching large facility management companies in Israel in order to get the LightBEEM system into more buildings. BEEMTech is also looking to grow its market in South Africa and Europe.
CEO Nati Frieberg has over 20 years of experience in various global markets. He served as COO of CellGuide Ltd., a navigation and design solutions company, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Radcom Ltd., a service assurance company, and the Product Marketing Manager at ECI Telecom Ltd., a network management system company. Frieberg holds an MBA in Finance and Financial Engineering from Hebrew University and an Electronic Engineering Degree from the Air Force Academy.
BEEMTech has raised $13 million from private investors thus far, and is continuing to look for capital. The company has offices in New York City and in Israel.
Photo by SplaTT