Frequently Asked Questions


1. What does Essess do?

Essess is a hardware and software technology company that has developed drive-by thermal imaging capabilities that enable our utility and government clients to identify energy waste in buildings at unprecedented scale.  In the context of utility projects, the thermal images can be leveraged to deliver an energy efficiency program, the Thermal Analysis Program (TAP), that helps utilities meet mandated state energy efficiency goals by guiding building owners through the process of fixing sources of energy waste. In the context of government and military projects, the thermal images enable Essess to generate a complete analysis of energy waste across the entire building stock that empowers our government and military clients to allocate energy efficiency investments and resources optimally and with greater confidence around the return on investment.

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2. What makes Essess unique?

Essess combines the power of innovative technology with behavioral energy efficiency to deliver energy efficiency programs, analyses, and reports that can help utilities and government agencies reach their energy efficiency goals through structural improvements that result in deep and persistent energy savings. A single thermal imaging rig can analyze 10,000 to 50,000 building units in one night depending on building density and other factors. This enables Essess to deliver energy waste intelligence at an order of magnitude greater scale than current approaches. The patent-pending technology stems from cutting-edge research conducted in the mechanical engineering lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This research established the foundation for the market-leading drive-by thermal imaging capability Essess relies on today.

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3. How does Essess capture data?

Essess uses specially equipped vehicles driving on public roads to capture a 3D thermal video of the surrounding environment. The actual imaging system is a custom-designed multi-sensor rig integrated onto the top of the vehicle. As the vehicle drives, the imaging rig captures the scene on both sides of the car, enabling Essess to image large geographic areas each night. The images are stored onboard the vehicle using a custom-built data recording system and then processed at Essess headquarters in Boston, MA.

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4. How do you interpret an Essess thermal image?

In an Essess thermal image, the brightness of an area is indicative of its energy loss. The brighter the area, the more energy is escaping. Common image patterns demonstrating substantial energy waste including bright yellow lines where siding meets the roof or a chimney, bright yellow or orange auras near the foundation, and yellow auras or lines along window or door edges or underneath soffits.  By contrast, a properly insulated building area will appear darker than the surroundings, most commonly blue or purple.

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5. Can Essess help my utility gather building intelligence territory wide?

Essess has the capability to generate complete thermal scans of entire utility service territories in a matter of days or weeks for most all utilities. This kind of unprecedented territory-wide analysis would take months or even years using traditional in-home audits, notwithstanding the prohibitive cost of these audits across such large populations. This level of scale is achieved without sacrificing the accuracy or integrity of the thermal scan. While certain information can only be obtained through an in-home audit, Essess’ thermal imaging system provides comparable intelligence at an order of magnitude lower cost. This kind of intelligence is actually invaluable in the context of determining which buildings auditors should survey and also as a pre-diagnostic to make the most use of the auditor’s time on site.

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6. Can the Essess Thermal Analysis Program (TAP) be combined with other energy efficiency programs?

TAP can be implemented as a standalone program, as an important supplement to an existing behavioral program to drive deeper and more persistent savings, or as a marketing platform to increase conversions into rebate or other technology installation programs. We can configure the program to meet your needs precisely. The program can be optimized not only for maximizing energy savings, but also for increasing customer satisfaction, driving online signups and engagement, increasing uptake in a particular program, or driving greater conversions into retail purchases or contractor/auditor signups. Help us understand your needs, and we will help you appreciate the value of incorporating TAP into your energy efficiency and/or customer engagement strategy.

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