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The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is working with UrbanVolt to sustainably makeover member facilities in a cash-free affinity deal in which companies would pay UrbanVolt about 30% of the money they save on energy bills.

UrbanVolt is the first partner in a new ATA Affinity Program, which was established to save member companies money on goods and services. The Dublin, Ireland-based company uses an algorithm instead of site inspections to assess the energy use of multi-site warehousing facilities. It provides all up-front capital expenses and collects a monthly fee from energy savings realized.

UrbanVolt coined the term Light as a Service (LaaS) and believes reducing energy use should be easy and that businesses should not bear the financial risk of energy-reduction projects.

“Business is key to solving climate change,” UrbanVolt CEO Kevin Maughan said. “We see the ATA as a great channel and perfect partner for us.”

The 30,000 motor carriers in the ATA own or operate an estimated 25% to 30% of the 450,000 warehouses in the U.S., Maughan said. With the growth in e-commerce and same-day delivery, the number of warehouses is growing.

UrbanVolt’s goal is to get warehousing facilities off the electric grid. The company claims its efforts took 55 gigahertz (GHz) off the grid last year. It completed 10 projects in the U.S in 2018 and expects to complete 50 to 60 this year.

How it works

UrbanVolt uses a trademarked system called Dataful. A company enters the square footage and ceiling height of its building. Dataful matches the relation between square footage and wattage needed to light an area to 95% accuracy.

“What used to take two months to do in a physical audit takes two minutes with the algorithm,” Maughan said, A facility manager can enter information in as little as five minutes. Dataful creates a dashboard showing multiple sites and where energy savings are possible. 

UrbanVolt gets paid based on one-third of the 1.2 to 2 cents of energy savings per square foot. Building upgrades include LED bulbs. Some get solar installations.

ATA announced the program on October 8 at its Management Conference & Exhibition in San Diego.