Calls it ‘simplest, most cost-effective’ energy solution
Calls it ‘simplest, most cost-effective’ energy solution
21 October, 2016

Calls it ‘simplest, most cost-effective’ energy solution

Zen Ecosystems earlier today announced the launch of Zen HQ, calling it the simplest, most cost-effective energy management solution on the market. Zen HQ is designed to fit the unique needs of enterprises with multiple locations via a simple connected platform that reduces annual energy bills as much as 30%, the firm said.

With these dramatic returns, the system pays for itself in less than a year, delivering the fastest payback of any energy management system on the market, it added. Zen HQ is already deployed with a number of businesses across the US including National Stores, a firm with over 350 locations across 22 states, the firm said.

National Stores owns the Fallas chain of clothing stores and several others, according to the Fallas website.

Zen expects to announce several more major customers in the months to come, it added.

The EPA estimated commercial buildings across the US waste about $60 billion/year in energy costs and of the 5.5 million commercial buildings in the US, less than 20% have installed energy management systems to monitor and manage energy use to contain those costs. Many businesses have been deterred from adopting energy management by high costs and complex deployment and management processes.

Zen HQ overcomes these obstacles with a simple energy management solution designed for easy installation and powerful control over HVAC and lighting costs across multi-site operations, the firm said.

“Too many enterprises have missed out on the efficiency revolution because previous energy management systems were far too expensive and hard to use,” said James McPhail, Zen Ecosystems CEO, in prepared remarks. “We designed Zen HQ to deliver the most compelling economics on the market by focusing on what makes the biggest impact on a business’s electricity bill.

“We’re already seeing terrific results with major brands across North America.” Leading retailers, telecommunications providers, utilities and energy partners are implementing Zen HQ for smarter controls, building automation, demand management and improved energy efficiency, the firm said.

“Energy management systems always seemed like they weren’t worth the hassle,” said Jimmy Lee, National Stores energy manager in prepared remarks. “Zen HQ impressed us with fast deployment and real return on investment. Installation has been a snap and since it’s so easy to use, we’re already making a big dent on our electricity bills.

“By keeping costs down, we can continue to pass great value along to our customers nationwide.”

Zen HQ connects Zen Thermostat and lighting controls in a simple, wireless energy management system optimized for cost reduction. Key features include:

  • Intuitive scheduling – HVAC and lighting scheduling is easy with a simple scheduler similar to Google Calendar, letting energy managers use simple drop-down menus to assign schedules to groups or individual locations in 15-minute increments.
  • Lockout controls – Local overrides on energy settings are one of the top reasons energy management systems fall short while Zen HQ reduces interference while maximizing comfort with preset heating and cooling schedules via partial or full lockouts;
  • Alerts – Notifications are available in up to 15-minute increments flagging potential issues such a temperature exceeding the scheduled set point or to whatever units are consuming the highest amount of energy;
  • Painless installation – Zen HQ controls HVAC via the connected Zen Thermostat and connection to lighting controls, meaning installation does not require building a completely new network and can be completed in less than a day (while most energy management systems reportedly require complex installations that disrupt business);
  • DR – OpenADR certification and utility integrations mean customers can automatically participate in DR and energy efficiency programs to slash electricity costs during times of peak demand;
  • Integrated monitoring – Zen HQ presents heating, cooling, lighting and energy use in a dynamic visual graph across single or multiple sites, and
  • Access anywhere – The Zen HQ platform is optimized for the computer and smart devices, providing energy managers with control over their facilities from anywhere, at any time.

Cost as main hurdle

“The vast majority of the commercial market hasn’t adopted energy management systems because the payback has typically been up to five years – an eternity for most businesses,” said Raymond James Senior VP Pavel Molchanov in prepared remarks. “Zen HQ is targeting this large, overlooked market with a thoughtful new approach that slashes cost and complexity.

“It’s an exciting proposition for the world of energy management.”

Earlier this year, Zen Ecosystems won a contract to provide DR capacity with Southern California Edison the replace the energy lost in the Aliso Canyon methane leak using Zen HQ and other solutions. The Zen Thermostat is the highest-ranking smart thermostat on Amazon and is available through many channel partners, including Telstra.

© 2016 Modern Markets Intelligence Inc. IMPORTANT: This article was reproduced from the October 20, 2016, issue of Smart Grid Today with the limited permission of the owner. To view the full story on Smart Grid Today’s website, please visit