Aussie energy-saving 'Ohm' hub and platform backed by Lady Gaga's investment arm unveiled | RenewEconomy

Aussie energy-saving ‘Ohm’ hub and platform backed by Lady Gaga’s investment arm unveiled

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New product will help Aussie businesses save thousands in electricity and other utility costs and reduce their carbon footprint.

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Aussie tech company Buddy Platform (ASX: BUD) has unveiled a new product that will help save Aussie businesses thousands of dollars on their building electricity and other utility bills by helping them monitor their usage and carbon footprint. Microsoft and AF Square, set up by pop star Lady Gaga and her former manager, are among seed investors in Buddy.

Buddy’s Ohm shows you how much power you are consuming, enabling building managers and occupants to make changes, however subtle those are, to reduce costs.

Buddy’s CEO said he expected to save $12,000 over 12 months from using Buddy at Buddy’s Adelaide office.

Buddy is calling its platform like Fitbit but for your building.

By showing it in a foyer of a building (photo), this makes people change their habits. But you need to do more than this, of course, to get the real savings.


    • ASX-listed Internet of Things company Buddy Platform Limited (ASX:BUD), which counts Microsoft and pop star Lady Gaga’s investment arm as seed investors, announced a new low-cost product for monitoring the consumption of electricity, gas, water, steam and solar power generation to help save businesses thousands and reduce their carbon footprint.
    • Called Buddy Ohm, the new product helps accurately measure the consumption of resources in buildings, government facilities, and public infrastructure, helping managers, occupants and citizens get a clearer view of the financial and environmental cost of these facilities.
    • Led by Seattle-based Adelaide-born CEO David McLauchlan, the company announced that Buddy Ohm’s first customer would be Seattle’s famed 5th Avenue Theater – a building with an auditorium approximately the size of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, and listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.
    • Hardware, service, maintenance and support are all included in a standard installation for a flat $US1500 a month. This is a large cost saving compared to traditional CAPEX-intensive resource monitoring solutions, which often run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to Buddy, customer data is already confirming that Ohm pays for itself within the first year as a result of energy savings realised.
    • Available from Tuesday, Buddy Ohm is the first end-to-end system from Buddy Platform designed to help current and future smart city projects get started faster, with the flexibility to integrate a client’s existing and future systems as they come online.
    • Microsoft and AF Square, set up by pop star Lady Gaga and her former manager, are among seed investors in Buddy.
    • Buddy Ohm is a full monitoring solution comprised of Internet of Things (IoT) class hardware, secure and scalable data infrastructure, an operations portal, engaging occupant facing dashboards, and on-the-go mobile experiences. Leveraging the power of the Internet of Things, Buddy Ohm makes it easy and affordable to extract data from city and building systems in real-time, which is then processed by the company’s powerful data infrastructure service, The Buddy Platform.
    • By utilising open hardware and software protocols, customers don’t have to worry about vendor lock-in with Ohm, they will always have full access and control of their resource data.
    • The Ohm base unit is installed in proximity to meters or sub meters, and utilises industry standard connectors to monitor electricity, solar, water, steam, gas and other natural and built environment elements. Ohm can wirelessly connect to other sensors, allowing for a network of sensors across city and building landscapes. Ohm connects directly to The Buddy Platform via the mobile network, eliminating troublesome Wi-Fi environments and reducing lapses in connectivity. This capability also means Ohm can be deployed in places where connectivity is a challenge.

Buddy Ohm was designed to be flexible, measuring electricity from the grid, gas, steam, solar and water across many applications, but Buddy sees great potential in using the system to make buildings more efficient.

  • Buildings represent the vast majority of resource consumption in cities, so optimising the way they are used can have a big impact the carbon footprint. While there are a variety of expensive and complex systems available today for managing everything from elevators to Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), they are typically siloed and built specifically for the building engineer or operator. Often these expensive systems force operators to optimise their resource consumption using only historical data, which mean critical events that can negatively impact resource consumption are missed. Also, for buildings that lack a traditional building management system (BMS) due to age or budgets, simple and straightforward monitoring using Buddy Ohm can help realise efficiencies and saving they might not otherwise have access to.
  • While these large systems are important, what they lack is an inexpensive, easy to install and intuitive solution for exposing real-time resource data for building occupants. Complex building infrastructure can be optimised to a certain point, but without the participation of the people living and working in these buildings, the next level of savings and conservation may never be reached. Buddy Ohm also provides a complimentary front-end experience for the traditional BMS by providing engaging, modern and modular dashboards that over time help people develop a deeper understanding of the link between their and resource conservation.
  • Buddy is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and has offices in Adelaide, Australia.
  • Adelaide-born Buddy CEO David McLauchlan, a former Microsoft executive, is an advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a mentor at consultancy Innovyz START, a mentor at Australian tech start-up Bluedot Innovation, and a co-founder of parties and events business Bonza Bash Productions.
  • David spends his time between the company’s two offices in Seattle and Adelaide.


David McLauchlan, the CEO at Buddy Platform and a former Microsoft executive, commented:

“The global conversation around energy – how we generate it, how we consume it and how we conserve it – has never been more urgent, nor more relevant.

“Smart cities represent an amazing opportunity to dramatically change how we consume energy, while improving the quality of life for citizens. Improving the efficiency of those underlying systems is the first step for reaching those sustainability goals. I’m incredibly proud of the team and the game-changing product we’ve built, and I’m particularly excited to grow the Ohm product into a central hub connecting smart city-wide infrastructure with the Buddy Platform.”

Habib Heydarian, vice president of product and engineering, Buddy Platform, commented:

“Given the real monetary and environmental benefits of resource monitoring for cities and buildings, these systems should not be reserved for just those with giant budgets. With Buddy Ohm we are truly democratising resource data by utilising IoT class hardware, and leveraging the power of The Buddy Platform. Once operators and occupants have access to this data and the insights it can provide, they can be an active part of the effort to be more efficient.”


The features of the platform are:

The Buddy Platform – Infinitely flexible, The Buddy Platform connects a constellation of devices to translate raw data into valuable insight. This highly scalable and secure platform is the heart of Buddy Ohm – enabling the processing, streaming and storing of key resource data, with powerful real-time capabilities like a rules engine and alerts.

Operations Portal – For the first time, building managers and owners have a simple, easy to understand overview of how their facilities are consuming resources (or in the case of solar, generation). This web portal is always accessible, visually clean and immediately understandable without specific knowledge of the system.

Dashboards – Data rich, glance-and-go experiences have become part of the modern digital lifestyle, and this should be the case for resource utilisation data as well. Much like an activity tracker, when people have real-time access to data in an easy to understand format, they are more likely to make choices that benefit them and their environment. Buddy Ohm’s modular dashboards are designed to do just that.

Mobile – Companion mobile experiences are crucial for monitoring and managing key systems for operators. Real-time push notifications when anomalies are detected, or predetermined thresholds are met means operators can act now, rather than looking backwards at historical events. Mobile can also be impactful for the people using the systems as part of their day-to-day activities. Incentivize conservation by rewarding and gamifying behaviour that will have a positive impact on the bottom line while reducing negative impact on the environment.

About Buddy

Buddy Platform Limited (BUD.ASX) provides highly scalable data aggregation and management infrastructure that helps extract the maximum value from city-wide sensor and device data, by connecting systems that were never designed to work together. Services like The Buddy Platform are the backbone of smart city initiatives around the globe, allowing for maximum flexibility and cost savings. The company also offers a complete and low-cost solution for facility resource monitoring and verification, called Buddy Ohm which helps turn energy savings into a strategic asset. Buddy Platform is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with offices in Adelaide, Australia. For more information, visit

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1 Comment
  1. wholisticguy 4 years ago

    “Buddy’s CEO said he expected to save $12,000 over 12 months from using Buddy at Buddy’s Adelaide office.”

    And it it costs $1500 a month to run, so in the only example, it isn’t worth it?

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