Maarten Vyncke, Sales Manager, aug-e

Sustainability has become the focus in recent times. As several startups and entrepreneurs create innovations to ready the world for the future, being sustainable and using clean energy has become the utmost priority. On a global scale, the energy market is growing at a significant rate as more and more building owners are aware of the effect of buildings on global decarbonization. The current price pressure on energy commodities creates a “perfect storm” as more and more people are aware of energy costs in day-to-day life and business, thus looking for opportunities to tackle these. The complexity of the energy market in general, combined with the current state of technology, strengthens that growth. As a high-tech company, aug-e is positioned as a software that enables new value models in the energy market and is, together with its partners, shaping the structure of this new market of sustainable energy. The aug-e software will help companies save on energy bills, increase their ROI on their green energy assets, and have a significantly better user experience in their buildings.

aug-e was founded to create a horizontal, comprehensive platform to allow people to get control over their energy usage and behavior back. The story kick-started during the pandemic with a strong focus on local energy communities. After a significant investment by Proximus and Besix, the journey expanded to a broad focus on smart buildings and smart energy management, always with an intense angle on sustainability and people-centric.

Sustainable thinking

The aug-e SaaS platform consists of 3 main elements: a digital twin, smart algorithms, and a smart energy management system. These can be applied to energy assets like batteries, solar panels, EVs, etc.; all types of buildings from residential, commercial, and even industrial, and on a community level.

The Digital Twin is the digital version of a building structure in a logical way through a predefined concept that allows for optimal usage of all building data through the life cycle of the building. Smart algorithms combine the static building data, historical energy data, potential added energy assets, weather data, occupant feedback, and other relevant metadata that aug-e’s artificial intelligence uses to learn the historical behavior of the building and predict future energy consumption based on different scenarios. These scenarios can be adding energy assets like solar panels and batteries, Energy efficiency exercises on BMS and HVAC systems, and revenue-generating use cases that are still in the works.

The Smart Energy Management System builds on top of the digital twin and smart algorithms and activates the automation of the different building blocks. By adding live data from the digital twin to the smart algorithms and combining it with, for example, weather forecasts, the day-ahead market price, the building will actively start steering itself, optimizing energy consumption, and taking into account occupant information ranging from meeting room management, visitor information, EV charging preferences.

The aug-e software can be applied on single assets, which is used to make a battery smart. When in a building, aug-e uses individual smart assets and the building & occupant data to generate a smart and sustainable building. Because all the data is either in place via the digital twin model or can be easily gathered via the aug-e user interface, the algorithms will keep steering for optimal behavior from an energy and user perspective. The goal is to deliver a sustainable building that is in sync with its occupants from an energy and user experience perspective. Combining different buildings into 1 community by exchanging energy is the last step the aug-e software can facilitate. Apart from the full software, aug-e also provides consultancy with regards to smart energy management and smart buildings, creating accessible digital buildings that can unlock all the future potential value.

Since its inception in  2018, the aug-e performance has now a high steady growth starting, with an average of +50% on a yearly basis. “Currently, the focus is strongly on the ARR to further strengthen the SaaS growth, where we see a big increase in current lead generation due to the energy prices being high and the big governmental push on electrical driving,” says Maarten Vyncke, the Sales Manager at aug-e. As the global energy market evolves at different paces and paves the way to electrification, aug-e sees this as an opportunity to follow international expansion. “The European electricity market is comparable, although local regulations differ, so we aim for the most advanced regulations for energy sharing, prosumer energy markets, and full-blown local energy communities. Currently, regulations in Spain are recently adapted, for example, so we are starting in Barcelona,” adds Maarten. Aug-e aims to have the flexibility of 1 gas-powered plant by 2027, meaning that the company can offer the grid the same flexibility using a decentralized software model with its attached hardware.

Clients Say

Jabba sells, distributes, and installs the alphaESS batteries in Belgium. By adding the intelligent aug-e layer on top of these batteries, installed mainly in households, Jabba is able to increase the generated value for its customer by adding services like Energy monitoring and visualization, Increasing self-consumption, and Simulation of the upcoming capacity rate in Belgium. “In the future, and thanks to Jabba for being a great partner in this project, we will add multiple extra use cases like dynamic contract trading, day-ahead trading, and offering net stability to the grid,” shares Maarten. Adding these use cases will result in more use of sustainable energy, lower energy prices for consumers, and a new prosumer value stream helping the grid.

Besix Dordrect has been built as a showcase, not only a physical one. The digital building got a lot of attention. With aug-e, the company further developed on this digital twin to streamline the full energy stack in the building, allowing Besix to offer more energy-related services (better comfort, more EV charging, greener energy) to the users while maintaining the energy cost and not having to invest in additional new high voltage cabins.

Encouraging Innovation

The employees at aug-e aim to have the best energy solutions in the world. With this in mind, they all work towards innovation through regular creative exercises and discussions. There is a strong focus on knowledge sharing within the different teams via weekly project updates, internal training, and cross-team work to ensure all employees are working towards the same goal. Working on multiple research projects with universities and other knowledge partners, aug-e makes sure to remain innovative and cutting edge in relation to the ever faster-evolving market. “As a company, we are also firm believers in eco-systems, towards our customers and from a knowledge perspective towards are employees, allowing them to work cross-company with companies like Microsoft on joint projects,” Maarten says.

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