Small Business/Big Challenges: Forest Frizzell, CEO, Shifted Energy
What has been your company’s latest pivot or innovation?
At Shifted Energy, we primarily do three things: enable utilities to stabilize the grid, accelerate renewable energy integration and engage customers in innovative programs. We do that by making a smarter water heater. This is Hawai‘i-grown technology that allows the utility to use energy from solar by turning off water heaters in the evening. There is no effect on people’s hot water usage, because each individual tank is equipped with AI (artificial intelligence) that learns what the user wants without disrupting the service. From mid-January to mid-March of this year we installed almost 900 controls, which were almost all in low-income buildings. It helps the people who need it the most get relief on their electric bills.
Due to the crisis, we have been looking for more software-only opportunities. So, we have been using our virtual power plant software to analyze existing data sets. We have also been looking for an existing customer base of installed smart devices, to integrate those hardware assets with our software for enhanced grid service opportunities for our customers.