C3 just won itself an honor, being named “Company of the Year” as part of AlwaysOn’s GoingGreen 2011 cleantech confab in San Francisco. That’s pretty remarkable, given that the Tom Siebel-headed startup only began talking about its activities with analysts a month ago. And it begs the questions: What is C3, and what great green frontiers is it exploring? Solar? Bioengineering? Fuel Cells?
None of that, actually. San Mateo, Calif.-based C3 identifies itself as an “energy and emissions management solutions provider,” which is to say it is a software company. Perhaps the best way to describe C3’s business is to give an example of it in action: According to the company, it’s been working with Pella – you know, the window people – to “help automate its energy efficiency efforts across its numerous manufacturing facilities in North America.”
So, “C3 is being used to model, analyze, and forecast energy consumption throughout Pella’s manufacturing operations, providing actionable insights about energy use across business processes, plants, and assets; and is identifying meaningful opportunities to reduce energy consumption and resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”
Another client of C3’s is the big California utility PG&E. As Don Bray of AltaTerra Research tells it, PG&E is using the C3 platform “to underpin energy efficiency programs and services for its largest commercial and industrial customers. For PG&E, such demand-side management efforts are highly strategic. They help utility customers reduce overall demand, accommodate time-variant pricing schemes, and save money. This helps the utility better match power demand with availability, more important than ever as California’s aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard continues to ratchet up.”
Constellation New Energy and GE Energy are also working with C3, and it’s that broad mix of clients – not just end-users like Pella (and Dow Chemical) – that excites analysts like Bray and the people at AlwaysOn. As AlwaysOn Founder and Editor Anthony Perkins wrote: “Looking toward a cleaner, brighter, more efficient future, C3 had taken its unique enterprise-driven approach to the energy efficiency marketplace and launched with a strong product the huge growth potential and the promise to bring environmentally friendly practices to any size organization.”