Frequently Asked Questions
What can JouleSmart do for me and my business?
Many SMBs and franchise owners don’t have the time, resources or upfront capital to transform their buildings into intelligent, efficient, productive and comfortable facilities. By partnering with JouleSmart, you can focus on your business while we finance, customize and implement the retrofit. We then manage and maintain the intelligent building solution for you. And unlike other solutions, we can provide access to and manage the process for the full portfolio of rebate, incentive, and state-supported loan programs.
What's the catch?
There isn’t one. Your JouleSmart solution is made possible by newly affordable hardware and cloud-based software. It’s backed by savvy investors that understand SMBs and franchise owners and the challenges of financing infrastructure improvements. It’s supported by utilities that have realized that comprehensive approaches to efficiency are more likely to lead to long-term, persistent results. It’s strengthened by our decades of industry experience and commitment to helping you improve your business while also becoming a better steward of our Earth.
What is an intelligent building?
An intelligent building automatically controls systems such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and others to optimize energy use, building performance, and occupant comfort. It does this by using sensors to continuously collect data, a centralized Integrated Intelligence Gateway to process the data and act on it accordingly, and controllers to manage the systems.
What is a Integrated Intelligence Gateway?
An Integrated Intelligence Gateway is how intelligent buildings automatically control energy and lighting needs and usage. It acts as the centralized “brain” for your building, coordinating data and information flow between local control equipment and the cloud-based supervisory analysis, diagnostics and optimization system.
Why should I retrofit my building to make it intelligent?
By upgrading your facility, you can improve its performance, enhance employee productivity and deliver the best customer experience. An intelligent building is efficient, saving you significant operating costs and helping your company go green. With better control of your building’s performance, you can maximize your profit and extend the life of your building. Finally, with JouleSmart, you can do all of the above with no capital expenditures on your part.
How do I pay for the retrofit?
No capital expenditures are required from you for the retrofit. Instead, JouleSmart pays for the upgrades with the savings obtained from reduced operating costs after your building is retrofitted. State and utility rebate and incentive programs reduce retrofit costs and improve savings, while state and utility financing programs provide JouleSmart with access to capital.
How does JouleSmart get paid?
As your partner, JouleSmart gets paid by delivering a service and receiving a small share of your savings created by the installation and operation of your JouleSmart solution. And because we value transparency in a partnership, you’ll be able to see how we are doing and how much you are saving every step along the way.
How long does it take to install the JouleSmart solution and retrofit my building?
Most projects can be completed within 90 days, from start to finish.
What is the minimum monthly utility spend needed to make the project worthwhile?
While the amount varies by state and location, utility costs of at least $3,000 per month make it worth retrofitting your building to make it intelligent and energy efficient.
How do I know if my building qualifies?
If your utility costs are at least $3,000 per month, your building is likely to qualify. In addition to reviewing your past utility bills, JouleSmart can also conduct a site survey to confirm that your building is qualified. Reach out to us for more information about qualifying in your specific state and location.
When will my business start seeing savings?
You’ll start realizing the savings and benefits of an intelligent building immediately following implementation of the JouleSmart solution. With our cloud-based application, you can see your energy usage as well as your monthly utility bills and savings.
Who owns the equipment at the end of the contract with JouleSmart?
After the contract ends, which is typically five to seven years, you own the equipment and realize 100 percent of the energy savings from that point on.
We adopted efficiency measures before, but didn't see any real benefit. How will I know that the JouleSmart solution is working?
It’s our responsibility to make sure your building performs as promised by optimizing energy usage based on information, controls, and sensory feedback coming into our Integrated Intelligence Gateway. If your energy savings don’t cover the full capital cost of the retrofit, it’s our risk and not yours. In the unlikely event that happens, you will continue to enjoy energy savings for the term of our agreement, and at the end of the contract term, the equipment becomes your property along with the savings it delivers. All of our projects have an insured performance guarantee provided by A.M. Best A+ rated Munich Re.
What makes the JouleSmart solution different?
Only JouleSmart delivers a turnkey solution that makes intelligent buildings affordable, accessible and easy for small- and medium-sized business (SMB), franchise and property owners. Our partnership approach means that your building is transformed into an intelligent facility using advanced technology, equipment, and connectivity — with no upfront capital expenditure or project planning on your part. Your upgrade costs are covered by JouleSmart, including management and installation. Once the upgrades and installation have been covered via energy savings, we provide the lion’s share of the savings back to you.
Why can't my own contractor do this?
Effectively implementing a solution like JouleSmart requires financial, operational, and technical capabilities across many areas:
- Expertise: We are experts in and oversee the installation of HVAC, lighting, building controls, and communications equipment, incorporating a wide variety of upgrades and efficiency improvements for your business.
- Proprietary Tools: Only JouleSmart integrates proprietary management software, Integrated Intelligence Gateway, Active Oversight services, equipment, and connectivity to create an intelligent building especially for SMBs.
- Immediacy: We can move quickly because we fund the purchase and installation of all equipment, and manage the timing of all available rebates and incentives.
- Oversight: Our Active Oversight offering continuously monitors the JouleSmart solution for the term of the agreement.
- Assurance: The JouleSmart solution qualifies for investment-grade performance insurance, providing you with assurance that the installation will perform as expected.
In some cases, your existing maintenance contractor can assist us in the installation and ongoing system maintenance.
Why not just take out a bank loan?
With a bank loan, the risk is yours. With a JouleSmart solution, you get our guarantee, backed by A.M. Best-rated Hartford Steam Boiler insurance company, that our performance will repay capital and deliver savings to you. We provide the capital to purchase and install the equipment. In turn, we offer you the resulting benefits as an ongoing service. We assume the financial risk and manage everything for you, providing valuable peace of mind and empowering you to focus on your business.
Will we miss out on the opportunity to participate in utility incentive/rebate programs that promote energy savings?
Not at all. In fact, by working with JouleSmart, you’ll qualify for additional incentive/rebate programs. The JouleSmart solution incorporates all available incentive/financing benefits. We augment them with performance guarantees and additional program benefits. Moreover, we have the expertise to uncover and receive sophisticated utility incentives not typically offered to SMB customers.
- Which businesses have achieved success with a JouleSmart solution?