Reseller News

AWS powers Auckland energy data company's global ambitions

Two social good projects benefit from the power of the cloud
  • Rob O'Neill (New Zealand Reseller News)
  • 29 August, 2019 06:52
Part of the ESP team, with managing director Jeremy Allen on left.

Part of the ESP team, with managing director Jeremy Allen on left.

Auckland-based Energy Solution Providers (ESP) is harnessing the power of big data to reduce the utility waste of local corporations. 

With the help of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and premier partner Blazeclan Technologies, ESP has helped its over 100 clients save $40 million or 240 GWh of energy since 2001 – the equivalent of taking 21,842 houses off the grid in New Zealand.

ESP monitors core utility use in real-time, storing its data on AWS Cloud Enterprise Data Lake (EDL). Using AWS, The company has created a data path to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint while enhancing bottom-line profitability.

Jeremy Allen, founder of ESP, says that the migration to AWS over the last three to four years allowed the company’s business model to change from an opinion-based consultancy to a data-based consultancy. 

“As we grew and scaled in our early years, we built out all our systems in-house, but the volume of data coming in became so huge that we needed a cloud-based platform to assist in the analysis of the data," he said.

"With AWS, we let the computer do the heavy lifting so that humans can help to advise a plan and address issues head-on."

According to a recent Productivity Commission’s report, New Zealand's commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 50 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050, and 30 per cent below 2005 emission levels by 2030, is proving to be a huge challenge.

ESP is helping big corporations such as ASB Bank and Air New Zealand as well as Auckland Council to meet their operational and energy-reduction needs. 

A case study on ESP's website says ASB has saved $13 million from deploying ESP's systems. This helped the bank reduce energy costs by 41 per cent, identify which branches' electricity use was higher than average and provided solutions to mitigate these.

ESP is now looking to penetrate international markets as AWS provides the ability to scale.

"In the last three years, we have had a 76 per cent increase in our subscription business thanks to the tools AWS provides us with in the machine learning and AI space," Allen said.

Tim Dacombe-Bird, NZ country manager at AWS said the cloud giant working is working with some of New Zealand’s most innovative businesses that are creating social good through technology, addressing issues of environmental sustainability, species management, waste reduction, and humanitarian good. 

AWS, with partners Qrious and Fronde, is also working with the Department of Conservation (DoC) to help conserve the Kakapo and the Kiwi. 

Mike Edginton, CIO at DoC, said after AWS replaced a system that was at its end of life every Kakapo now has what he calls a "digital twin. 

AWS and partners Qrious and Fronde are helping to save the Kakapo with big data.Credit: Department of Conservation
AWS and partners Qrious and Fronde are helping to save the Kakapo with big data.

Transmitters on every bird, weighing stations and feeding stations on the Codfish Island sanctuary relay vital data via a mesh network to rangers.

This includes data on when the female Kakapos are ready to breed. 

False eggs with sensors inside also relay information about chick health and conditions in nests.

The Kiwi, meanwhile, is benefiting from AI and machine learning from AWS, deployed again by Qrious, to help analyse massive trove of forest audio recordings, helping to identify when birds are present to help target conservation efforts.

Amit Bassi, managing partner at AWS premier consulting partner Blazeclan Technologies, said ESP was an example of the power of AWS-enabled transformation that is bringing new insights to established industries. 

"ESP’s success is a great example of the social transformation taking place across New Zealand – a process that is enabled through our services, he said.

"ESP’s in-house expertise is perfectly complemented by Blazeclan’s experience in building this data driven decisioning solution."