We sat down with Herb Dwyer, CEO of EMPEQ, to talk about how AI cuts time needed for commercial and industrial equipment site survey and reporting by up to 80%.
Describe what your company does in 256 characters.
Herb Dwyer: “EMPEQ is changing the way contractors and engineers audit and finance critical energy infrastructure projects. EMPEQ has launchedFast Site Survey™, an all-in-one equipment data capture app, to streamline the equipment auditing and reporting process.”
How did you get involved in this industry?
Herb Dwyer: “I co-founded EMPEQ with Derek LaClair (CFO), Ron Reeves (CTO), and Ed Wilson (CSO). Derek, Ed, and I came from the commercial energy efficiency industry. I’ve personally logged over 300 equipment audits in the past, using the old way of equipment auditing. The team figured there must be a vastly better way, using technology, to greatly scale the ability to help commercial engineers and HVAC contractors, close more projects, faster. Hence, the dawn of our core passion and mission.”
What made you think of the idea/what inspired you to create your technology?
Herb Dwyer: “My in-the-field experience, utilizing the industry’s tried and true yet slow, tedious, and inaccurate commercial equipment audit methodology, led to a level of frustration inspiring us to challenge the status quo; there must be a better, faster, and more accurate way. We met as a team and asked, “Is this possible?” And our team made it happen.”
What’s innovative about your company and technology?
Herb Dwyer: “We say EMPEQ’s Fast Site Survey technology is revolutionizing the HVAC and energy equipment industry like the printing press vastly increased communication or the nail gun streamlined construction. Our Fast Site Survey app is disrupting the equipment auditing industry in a major way. Using AI, this all-in-one app cuts the time needed for commercial and industrial equipment site surveys and reporting, usually by 60% to 80%.”
“Traditionally, energy engineers and HVAC contractors use pen and paper, or “smart form” apps, to perform energy audits to determine energy efficiency, maintenance needs, and safety compliance for large commercial equipment. With Fast Site Survey, equipment and energy professionals can use their smartphone or tablet to streamline critical equipment upgrades and spend less time collecting, organizing, or correcting data. This means more time to upgrade more equipment at a fraction of the cost.”
How is this going to benefit people/society?
Herb Dwyer: “Commercial building owners and managers usually only know what kind of equipment they own when it breaks. A big key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is by increasing efficiency in commercial buildings. One of the best ways to accomplish this is giving building owners and managers more intelligence about their buildings at a low cost. Energy engineers and contractors are a critical part to keeping commercial, industrial, and government building equipment running smoothly. This equipment can be anything from large HVAC systems, which keep people warm in the winter and cool in the summer to quality water and plumbing systems to lighting equipment for commercial buildings or parking lots.”
“With an app like Fast Site Survey, these professionals can now complete more projects up to 80% faster. This means they’ll have more time to complete more projects, more accurately, and at a lower cost, meanwhile freeing them up to focus on important tasks. It’s a win-win. Plus, our AI-enabled app lowers the barrier of entry for unskilled workers into these same industries, thus creating greater career opportunities for people from disadvantaged communities. Many AI critics complain about how AI only takes jobs. We see EMPEQ’s AI creating more jobs.”
How, in your opinion, has your industry changed in the past 5 years?
Herb Dwyer: “Like so many other industries, the truth is that it hasn’t changed that much. Many HVAC and engineering professionals have conducted their site surveys the same way for years. This industry is staffed by people who prefer to do things right the first time, and though these survey methods have worked well, there can always be a better or faster way. We’re certain Fast Site Survey will help professionals become even more accurate and efficient thus greatly enhancing their projects.”
What has COVID done to your company/industry? Has it been affected? Does your solution assist with the pandemic?Herb Dwyer: “Fast Site Survey is a great solution for energy engineers and contractors in a post-COVID world. The app reduces the amount of time needed to be on site to capture critical energy equipment data and eliminates the need for energy engineers and contractors to return to the site to reinput incorrect or misplaced data.”
“With a completely digital reporting process, teams can produce critical energy infrastructure reporting all in the cloud without the need to meet in-person or regroup to identify errors in the data capture process. The technology also enables auditing professionals to never step foot inside a building for a regular energy or building equipment audit—it can all be done virtually. Leading to a completely “touch-free” process, without the reliance on outdated, database-driven “assumption models.”
Describe the future of your industry. What does the future hold? What is society going to look like?Herb Dwyer: “The future of the building industry, in general, will be a mix between high-tech and the next-level blue-collar worker and engineer. The ’56 Chevy is a relatively easy car to work on compared to a 2021 Chevy. A late-year model requires an advanced certification and deep knowledge of not only turning a wrench, but also operating complex diagnostic equipment and computers. There will be a shift from assumption-based models, driven by Energy Use Intensity (EUI) factors and guidelines, to actual data collection that equates to much more accurate data models.”
What plans do you have coming up?Herb Dwyer: “We plan to get the technology into as many hands as possible of people and customers who value accuracy and are seeking to greatly increase their productivity.”
What would your advice be for people trying to get into your industry?Herb Dwyer: “Either learn by doing, getting dirty in a building’s basement boiler room or sun-burned on a building’s HVAC roof-top, OR take EMPEQ’s Fast Site Survey app for a spin.”
Herbert Dwyer is co-founder and CEO of EMPEQ. Since 2006, he has worked in the energy efficiency, finance, and real estate industries. In his tenure in the energy efficiency industry, he oversaw over 300 equipment audits and design-builds in energy efficiency and clean heating and cooling, inspiring him to co-found EMPEQ which created the Fast Site Survey app. He is passionate about finding highly effective people who seek to be a vital part of high-performing teams. Herbert received his MBA from Cornell University and is a United States Marine, previously holding a DoD Top Secret SCI Security Clearance while serving as a National Security Agency (NSA) tasked cryptanalyst and platoon sergeant.