It’s one thing to be right about something and have someone else agree with your ideas. It’s another thing entirely for someone to take your same idea and begin implementation of it! Which seems to be happening with our BETI project and the City of New York.
Everyone knows that we have been working for over a year on our Building Energy Efficiency Testing and Integration Center & Demonstration Network, or BETI. It’s the result of our Metropolitan Business Plan initiative, in collaboration with the Brookings Institution in DC. What BETI would do is serve as a third-party verification for new energy efficiency technologies – specifically software and automation technologies – by installing them in real world buildings and monitoring their impact. We’ve just finished the business plan, and we’re starting implementation.
However, it looks like New York has the same idea, with its new Urban Technology Center:
It will connect academic institutions conducting underlying research, companies creating the associated products, and building owners who will use those technologies. Through the Center – a partnership of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Columbia University, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and the City University of New York (CUNY) – green building technology companies that need real-world test sites will be joined with building owners looking to benefit from the latest developments and willing to provide a test environment. The Center will also maintain a database of current green building technology needs and research, and it will host a series of community building forums. (emphasis added)
They’re even using the same business model as we’ve developed:
The Center will develop a sponsorship and membership structure whereby technology companies and building owners can join at various levels ranging from $1,000 a year to $50,000 a year. A variety of potential members, including building owners, technology companies, and other stakeholders such as utilities, financial institutions, contractors, design firms, and nonprofit organizations, have already expressed an interest in joining.
What’s that phrase about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? Oh yeah: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” And so, I’m not nervous or upset about how much this effort is the same as ours. Rather, I’m excited that a group of people on the other side of the country objectively looked at the challenge of commercializing new energy efficiency technology and came to the same conclusion about the most effective intervention. It validates our theory on the need for validation of new energy efficiency technology (hence the clever post title). And that’s just the domestic example, to say nothing about what other countries are doing on this same front.
Of course, it would probably be beneficial if we were the first to get things up-and-running and/or executed this idea much better. So, let’s get going!