Digigrid promises 24*7 electricity at lowest cost in India

With seven clients on its roster, startup Digigrid Energy Systems Pvt Ltd's promise is electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In a country that is plagued by power cuts and a massive power deficit, Digigrid believes its services will be invaluable. "Today, industrial units, factories and residents have to depend only on the government for their electricity supply. As a backup they could have diesel-run generators but there is no market player who promises 24/7 supply of electricity," says Arjun Bharathan, who founded Digigrid, after stints at various corporate houses like DCM, Murugappa Group, Austrian Energy and Essar Projects India Ltd, where he served as CEO of Power Asset.

Currently, Digigrid's clients in New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Sriperumbudur have signed on with Digigrid to provide them IoT (Internet of Things) services to help them reduce their electricity bills.

One of Digigrid's BFSI client, which has more than 100 retail branches in India, had high electricity bills.

"Since some branches are in tier-2 and tier-3 cities where there is power cut through the day, computers can not be linked to the central server. So customers go unserviced due to power disruption," says Bharathan. "At Digigrid we are using the Internet of Things solution to bring down their electricity consumption -we've installed intelligent sensors at key consumption points in each branch and stream data at frequent intervals to a cloud based server. For example, if air-conditioning at the branches is 60% of the electricity cost, Digigrid will help identify lean periods where the air-conditioning can be turned down or halve the number of running units to match customer walk-ins," he says.

Sensors will also provide alerts when doors are left open or during lunch time when the machines can be turned off or put on stand-by mode.

"Our smart sensors will capture data real time, thus helping clients 20% of their bill costs," he says, adding that the company will see Rs 5 crore in revenue at the end of their pilot run.

The Internet of Things is a network by which electricity meters, machines, devices, vehicles, buildings are embedded with sensors and data is collected and exchanged among the devices. Digigrid, which currently caters to clients in the banking, automotive, hotel and IT industry, says that it will also be looking at end-consumers.

As part of phase II, the company will purchase power through agreements and at power exchanges and sell it smartly through its network, enabling uninterrupted power supply.

"Anyone who has a bill over Rs 2,000 is a potential client. In India, we use airconditioning during the hottest hours of the day and that's when solar generation will also be at its peak. With Digigrid one can opt for solar power, resulting in a lower utility bill," says Bharathan, about his second start-up venture after he founded B2B ecommerce company clickforsteel.com.

"We are also looking at buying power from power exchanges. With our analytics we hope we can predict demand, and purchase electricity futures. We want to give electricity at the best price for our customers," he says. (This series profiles innovative startups in the state)

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