In today’s world, cost reduction and sustainability practices are a big topic. Estonian innovations are yet again ready to snap that opportunity across sectors. So meet Fusebox — an Estonian energy management service, is changing the way companies handle their energy consumption.
Fusebox’s logic is simple and yet unique – they let energy hungry machinery know when there is an energy deficit on the market and either shift the usage times or reduce the electricity consumption. This results in saved money. But that’s not all. This solution also gives the option to take part in the arbitrage market, through which their clients can earn revenue.
Fusebox was born out of a desire to improve energy consumption and production in Estonia. It all began when one of their founders recognized untapped potential in the energy sector. They aimed to help energy consumers make the most of their energy resources, reduce costs, and contribute to a cleaner environment. While Fusebox concentrates on enterprise clients, their solution is also available for home users via a third party – Qilowatt.
As energy costs have skyrocketed in the world for the past year or so, enterprises have started to look for ways to reduce energy bills. While installing solar panels is one of the most popular options, there is also another solution. Fusebox offers an advanced software-based solution which assists in balancing energy demand and supply, ultimately leading to cost savings and reducing environmental impact.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Fusebox’s offerings is its potential to benefit end-users, both individual and corporate. Fusebox’s Marketing and Public Relations Manager Jaan Tiiman highlighted that it is possible for small-scale prosumers to use their solution. For example, those with solar panels on their rooftops can benefit from Fusebox’s technology by optimising their energy usage, reducing their electricity bills, and even participating in different energy markets, where it is possible to buy low and sell high. It operates on a simple principle: buy low, sell high.
Fusebox taps into these price fluctuations, enabling users to save money by consuming electricity during off-peak hours when it’s cheaper and selling excess energy back to the grid during peak hours when prices are higher. Essentially, it’s a clever way to ‘arbitrage’ the energy market for financial gain.
Tiiman said that their solutions have tangible results. He pointed to the case of Nordnet, a prominent Estonian cold storage logistics company. Nordnet’s smart energy management with Fusebox’s technology resulted in substantial savings and a significant reduction in carbon emissions, a win-win situation for the company and the environment.
Fusebox helps Nordnet to reduce and even quite often generate 3 times the earning compared to the next-hour Nord Pool price for not consuming energy. During the test period, the revenue from demand response equalled up to 10% of Nordnet’s monthly electricity bills. Nordnet’s operation is always kept in mind and this ensures that critical temperatures will always remain within specified setpoints.
The exact earnings and carbon savings numbers can vary depending on the specific strategies and energy market conditions of Fusebox’s clients. Their solution works with various manufacturers such as Sonoff, Shelly, ABB, Huawei, Siemens and others to ensure compatibility with a wide range of systems.
One proof of Fusebox’s success is a €2.5 million investment into the company back in December of 2022. This round was led by Dutch energy giant Eneco.
Keeping up with the market
In the ever-evolving energy sector, staying ahead of the competition is vital. Tiiman acknowledged the presence of competitors but stressed that Fusebox’s unique approach sets them apart. As an Estonian company that started in a smaller market, they focused on providing solutions for smaller energy consumers and have adapted swiftly to the changing landscape.
As Fusebox continues its expansion plans, Tiiman mentioned that their journey into Western European markets is a process that takes time. It involves understanding local dynamics, adjusting to technical requirements, and building relationships.
Nevertheless, they are confident in their ability to adapt and innovate, staying true to their mission of changing energy management. And the market is ready for this disruption as well — more users are discovering the potential of energy arbitrage, which saves money and reduces carbon emissions.
Open for everyday users
The third party that opens Fusebox’s solution for everyday users is called Qilowatt. Their core is the same but focuses on various consumer-level electrical appliances from electric boilers and underfloor heating to home battery charging and air conditioning systems.
Qilowatt’s services cater to a diverse customer base, with no distinction between large and small clients. Whether it’s a 50-litre electric boiler in a holiday home or industrial production equipment exceeding 100 kW, the company has successfully assisted clients from various industries, including food production and furniture manufacturing. Qilowatt even supports local governments, with Hiiumaa Municipality embarking on an ambitious energy management project.
“For example, we manage the charging of forklifts by finding the most optimal period for charging their batteries during non-working hours. Savings per forklift investment are between €450 and, €2700 per year, and this with an investment of only €250,” said Qilowatt’s COO Anti Reiljan.
As for the cost of implementing Qilowatt’s solutions, it varies based on the specific devices and requirements. To control a small electric boiler, a 36-euro Smart Plug is sufficient. Managing a heat pump can be achieved with a 33-euro Smart Automatic Switch. For more complex setups, like controlling a 3-phase heat pump, a Smart Power Meter €210) may be needed.
Disclaimer: The prices and price estimates provided in this article are accurate as of September 2023 and are subject to change.