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Green IT at the plant: Web app remotely tracks energy usage

A system created by ex-Enroners can monitor and report on energy usage of building equipment for energy efficiency and carbon management.

EPS, an energy management company founded by former Enron employees, has developed a system for remotely tracking energy usage at manufacturing facilities with a high level of detail.

The company on Thursday intends to introduce the system, called xChange Point, a hosted application that monitors energy usage at manufacturing facilities and provides Web-based reports to energy managers.

Drilling down: EPS' system lets plant operators get detailed information on energy usage, down to the level of a facility or a process like making buttermilk. EPS

Comparing data from different locations allows companies to get an idea on how to lower their usage, said company CEO Jay Zoellner.

The company, founded in late 2001, has done business running energy efficiency programs and operating alternative energy generators, including co-generation plants. Typically, manufacturers look for a two-year payback on any kind of energy investment to lower their costs.

But in the past year, carbon management and sustainability initiatives are rising in importance, rather than only reducing energy spending, Zoellner said.

"A lot of companies are struggling with their carbon emissions reduction targets. They need a way to manage and verify they've had an impact," he said.

xChange Point, which includes a hardware device placed at a customer's location and software to analyze data, gives those companies more accurate information and a way to report any carbon emissions reductions, he said.