FirstFuel Software Inks $10M

FirstFuel Software, a commercial building energy analytics company, has raised $10 million in a round led by RockPort Capital. Existing investors Nth Power and Battery Ventures also contributed to the round. Formed in 2010, FirstFuel is based in Lexington, Mass.


FirstFuel Software, the commercial building energy analytics company, today announced the closing of a $10 million round of financing. RockPort Capital led the round and was joined by existing investors Nth Power and Battery Ventures. The investment will support FirstFuel’s rapid expansion in the utility and government markets, and will accelerate product development efforts to expand the capabilities of its Rapid Building Assessment (RBA) platform. The RBA platform provides best in class analytics that deliver large scale operational energy efficiency and retrofit opportunities across commercial building portfolios.


“The addition of RockPort Capital builds on the strength of our existing investors, bringing together three of the top investment firms in the cleantech market,” said Swapnil Shah, co-founder and CEO of FirstFuel Software. “This financing provides the resources needed to support the rapid adoption of our platform by our growing customer base. More importantly, it helps accelerate our goal of becoming the leading driver of scalable building energy efficiency through mass customer engagement.”


Recent research demonstrates that energy efficiency for commercial and industrial buildings represents the most significant savings opportunity in the energy efficiency market:


According to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, commercial and industrial building programs made up 40 percent of the North American utility industry’s $9.1 billion energy efficiency budgets in 2011. These budgets grew by over 30 percent from 2010, continuing the strong growth of recent years as more regions turn to energy efficiency as the ‘first fuel’.

In a recent study by Pike Research1, the energy service company (ESCO) market for energy efficiency project installations and services exceeded $5.1 billion in 2011; the firm predicts this market will continue to grow faster than the domestic economy, and reach $16 billion in sales by 2020.

According to the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Installations and Environment, the Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest energy consumer in the U.S., representing 80 percent of federal sector energy consumption and spending more than $3.5 billion on facility energy consumption in 2010 alone.


Typically the starting point for improving the energy efficiency of a building is an intrusive on-site assessment. Such audits are extremely difficult to scale given their high costs and long timelines. FirstFuel is the only company able to perform a comprehensive, zero-touch energy assessment of commercial buildings, and translate that solution into utility customer engagement and delivered savings. In August, the Fraunhofer Center of Sustainable Energy Systems released a report, funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) that provided independent validation of FirstFuel’s results. In addition, FirstFuel has proven its ability to engage customers and deliver energy savings through several engagements with utilities, government clients and ESCOs.


“Non-residential buildings provide a massive opportunity for energy efficiency,” said RockPort Capital Partner Todd Wilson. “After a thorough examination of the market and competitive landscape, we found FirstFuel to be the company best positioned to deliver a highly scalable energy information service. FirstFuel’s technology is unique and beyond anything else we looked at, and they have shown the ability to execute and gain traction.”


In addition to their work with some of the leading utilities in the U.S., FirstFuel was recently selected by the DoD’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) to demonstrate their technology and savings impact on military installations. The DoD will implement FirstFuel’s RBA platform to perform zero-touch energy performance analysis, quickly identifying opportunities to significantly reduce the more than $4 billion spent on energy per year.


“We’re excited with the progress that FirstFuel has shown over the past year. Their rapidly growing customer base already includes some of the nation’s largest utilities and government agencies. Deep analytics, building-specific assessments and great presentation of data have translated into energy savings and demonstrated customer engagement,” said Rodrigo Prudencio, a Partner at Nth Power. “Commercial buildings represent an enormous energy efficiency opportunity around the world and we believe FirstFuel can be the undisputed leader in this market.”


About FirstFuel Software

FirstFuel Software is the energy intelligence company that helps utilities engage their commercial customers and deliver energy efficiency across commercial building portfolios. The FirstFuel Rapid Building Assessment platform uses advanced analytics to remotely benchmark building energy performance, creating rich energy profiles that eliminate the need for costly and inconsistent on-site energy assessments. Founded in 2010 and privately held, FirstFuel is headquartered in Lexington, MA.