The Swedish company Egain combines market-leading IoT and energy technology, with human expertise to optimise both buildings and organisations. The company takes in over 20 million data points from buildings every day to continuously help its customers understand their building stock. Today, Egain uses Metry to collect energy data for its customers and has integrated Metry’s products directly into its offering. We talked to Viktor Vitell, CMO of Egain, to find out more about how Egain contributes to a more energy-efficient real estate sector.
Hi Viktor! Tell us about Egain!
Egain is a leading SaaS technology company within digital control and energy optimisation of residential buildings and public buildings. Egain links intelligent software, IoT products and human skills to provide self-optimising and energy-efficient buildings.
Egain collects building data, among other things, in collaboration with Metry. The data is used to optimise energy usage as well as to create reports and insights for the property owner. The insights enable our customers to make data-driven decisions. So far, we are relatively similar compared to building management systems. However, on top of the data collection and reports, we also help property owners activate their insights and save energy or decide on what type of maintenance needs to be done. Our product Egain Edge is a combination of a cloud-based tool that gives the user digital control over their building stock as well as a self-learning optimisation of heat consumption. Our service Peak Control, is working on cutting the power peaks to reduce energy costs. This fascinating area is on the rise in the Nordic region, where energy tariffs are often set at maximum consumption, leading to high prices for the property owner.
How does Egain view today’s real estate industry? What are the challenges and opportunities?
Property owners face entirely different challenges today than they did ten years ago. In Europe, we have realised that it is not possible to have a real estate sector where 75 per cent of the buildings are not energy efficient and have thus increased the renovation rate from one to two per cent. But that is not enough - a two per cent renovation rate would mean that it will take far too long before the real estate sector becomes sufficiently energy efficient. We don’t have that time. Instead, property owners have opened their eyes to more sustainable solutions to increase property value and reduce energy use. There is a great need for systems that identify possibilities in a building plus take into account the experience of the residents and support the employees of the real estate companies. At the same time, there is a generational shift in the real estate industry, and building owners need to secure both competence and energy access. This is where we at Egain add value - we want to help both the planet and the companies.
Egain is a strong player in the digitalisation of the real estate industry. How do you reason about this?
The digitalisation trend in the real estate sector is strong right now, but it is essential to remember that buildings will always be tangible things. Digitalisation in the real estate industry thus means close collaboration between the digital and the analogue. Activating their insights means not only being able to optimise the operation of a building, but also simple, practical maintenance, such as when it is profitable to change windows or improve the facade.
How do you use Metry in your services?
The real estate companies that we come in contact with look for a way to self-optimise the operation of their buildings and make data-based decisions. We help our customers make data-driven decisions while giving an overview of their buildings’ energy use and helping the organisation, which is often in great need of focus. In terms of the overview picture, we have a good collaboration with Metry, which collects and quality assures energy data regardless of which meter is in the property. We then do not have to use hardware to retrieve energy data. With Metry, it is easy to retrieve the information thanks to the open API, and this is something we do not want to lose!
Finally, do you have any tips for property owners who want to start or are at the beginning of their digitisation journey?
Digitalisation itself has no value unless it creates an improvement. Start by determining who or what you want to improve. The more efficient operation makes your organisation more agile, proactive heat management provides a smoother indoor climate, which in turn gives satisfied tenants and lowers your climate impact. Measuring provides better data for data-driven decisions and minimises risks in investments and operations.