REGEN Energy™ is a technology company which is transforming the energy efficiency landscape. REGEN set out to develop a sophisticated new energy management technology based on a concept called swarm logic, and bring it to market. This innovative idea led to the launch of a company that has been able to grow and position itself for a strong future in the energy technology marketplace.
During the summer of 2003, large stretches of the Northeast, the Midwest, and areas of Eastern Canada experienced massive blackouts as the electricity demand exceeded the grid’s supply. As Mark Kerbel, one of REGEN’s founders, left his house during one of these events, he was struck by the clear blue sky he saw that afternoon, enabled by the lack of electricity generation. This was a rarity, since the high electricity demands of a summer afternoon normally lead to soot and smog clouding the summer sky. As air conditioner use in homes and offices increase to a peak afternoon period, the electricity grid struggles to accommodate this high level of energy demand. Outdated peaker plants are turned on to supply additional energy, using lower-grade and dirtier fuels without the advanced scrubbing mechanisms that newer plants use to reduce pollution.
REGEN’s leadership realized early on that reducing peak loads benefits both the stability of the electricity grid and energy consumers. A substantial amount of the grid’s generating capacity is reserved for satisfying demand during peak periods that may occur as rarely as a few dozen hours per year. That power is extremely costly, since it requires entire ancillary power plants. Peaker plants need to be activated quickly as demand on the grid spikes, and they are more concerned with a quick response than they are with efficiency or pollution control. If they fail to add power in time, the consequences can be cascading power outages such as the rolling blackouts common in recent years.
REGEN realized that a pressing concern for many users was the increase in their energy bills during peak demand times. To address the issue, REGEN invented a unique energy management system to help ease the burden of buildings on the electric grid, as well as to reduce energy bills for building owners.
For the consumer, buying energy during peak demand times can be daunting. Many power consumers are pushed into a higher pricing structure if they pass a certain demand threshold. Consumers who use large amounts of power often see half of their electric bill calibrated to the rate charged for the top 15 minutes of energy demand per month, and REGEN sees that as an opportunity. From the building owner’s perspective, that goes right to their bottom line. By reducing peak consumption, ranging from 20-50% of the monthly utility bill, owners can achieve substantial savings.